Saturday, October 17, 2009

Snapping Turtles

The Snapping Turtle is a common site along the Ohio River and Creeks, We took to smaller fishing boat with a five horse power motor (less noise) along the Eagle Creek. Logs and submerged trees poke up out of the water periodically with piles of sunning Turtles, (both Snapping and Soft Shelled).  Typically shy, these guys often take a dive for safety when anyone approaches.
The one on the right top is certainly thinking about it.

Their range is quite large from S. Alberta and east
to Nova Scotia in the north all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and even central Texas. They are fresh water dwellers and mostly reside in slow moving Creeks and Lakes with muddy bottoms and an abundant vegetation and food source.

Reproduction takes place from April to November along sandy shores were the female will excavate a hole and lay as many as 83 eggs. Depending on the weather, it takes 9-18 weeks to hatch the eggs.

The snapping turtle has a general length raging from 8-18.5 inches. Color ranges from dark brown to even black. They feed on carrion, invertebrates, fish, birds, and small mammals, amphibians and aquatic vegetation. I've yet to paint them, but this image I found interesting and will most likely end up on a canvas. : - )