As a beginner, you may be wondering, where do snapping turtles live? When you hear of snapping turtles what comes to mind? Muddy, dirty, or highly tempered animals you shouldn’t joke with? You may be right. Snapping turtles aren’t a personality you should upset.
As the name implies, you may sustain an injury from their sharp bite if they perceive you as a threat. Nonetheless, these species of turtles are successfully kept in homes as pets. And more interestingly, you don’t have to deal with a muddy enclosure.
This article seeks to address issues surrounding snapping turtles’ habitat both in the wild and in captivity. Snapping turtles are of two species. The habitat of each of these subspecies will be discussed in detail.
In the end, you’ll not only know what habitat snapping turtles live in, in the wild, but will also know the best captive set up for your snapping turtle. Keep reading.
Snapping Turtle Habitat
Turtles are quite different from tortoises. One unique difference is their natural environment. While tortoises are land-based reptiles, turtles have their homes in the water. The same applies to snapping turtles, they are majorly aquatic in nature.
Some turtles do come out of the water occasionally to spend time on land, but snapping turtles rarely do that except for gravid females seeking a dry place to lay their eggs.
Where Could You Find a Snapping Turtle?
Snapping turtles are native only to the United States of America. For this reason, they’re given the name ‘only found in North America’.
The regions in the US that snapping turtles can be found include the southern part of the Rocky Mountains to the eastern part of Florida and Nova Scotia in Canada down to northern Mexico and central Texas.
Since snapping turtles are aquatic, they only live in freshwater swamps, lakes, ponds, streams, marshes, and rivers. They can also be found in brackish water and tend to occupy the muddy/swampy area of their aquatic habitat where they can burrow.
The water bodies they occupy are usually about 3ft deep although they can swim to the deeper parts of the pond, stream, or lake.
Do Snapping Turtles Live In Creeks?
Yes, snapping turtles, especially the common snapping turtle subspecies live in creeks. Creeks make up part of their habitat in the wild.
What Kind Of Water Do Snapping Turtles Live In?
Snapping turtles live majorly in freshwater bodies such as lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers. They also live in brackish (slightly salty water) such as creeks.
Keeping Snapping Turtles: Basic Requirements
What you’ll need to keep a snapping turtle in captivity include:
A large or sizable tank of about 120 gallons or more.
Lighting: Although snapping turtles stay in the water all the time, they were still observed to bask in the wild. They would usually swim to the surface of the water to bask and would swim back to the bottom when they were done basking.
For this reason, ensure you include a lighting bulb in your pet’s enclosure. It’s better safe than sorry.
Heating: While snapping turtles can withstand cold temperatures, they still need a heating source to keep the enclosure within the ideal temperature of 75⁰ F – 78⁰ F for adults and 78⁰ F – 80⁰ F for hatchlings.
Substrates: For easy cleaning, you can house your pet snapping turtle without substrates. But this may cause stress to your pet. Hence, to give them that naturally simulating habitat with a place to burrow and feel safe, a substrate is needed.
For your substrates, you can use a combination of medium-sized or large rocks or washed sand with some plants and some pieces of driftwood.
Lastly, when all these items are in place, you can proceed to set up your pet’s habitat with at least 3ft deep water.
Refer to this ultimate guide for a step-by-step guide on how to set up a standard enclosure for a pet snapping turtle.
Can I Find A Snapping Turtle Near My House?
Yes, you can find a snapping turtle if you live near a river, pond, stream, or any freshwater body and in the countries where they are native to.
If you’re located in any states in the US and you occupy a house near a freshwater body, you’re likely to come across one or two snapping turtles near your house.
However, if you’re occupying a hot environment with no freshwater body around, you can’t expect to see a snapping turtle.
They aren’t land-dwellers such as sulcata and Galapagos tortoises that can walk miles away from their homes. Snapping turtles hardly wander around.
The thoughts of keeping a turtle species that loves the mud and is aggressive in nature discourage herpetologists, especially beginners.
It’s important to state here that although in the wild these animals seem to enjoy burrowing in the mud, you can successfully keep them in captivity without having to deal with mud.
Secondly, snapping turtles are aggressive if they feel threatened. This implies that if you provide these animals the ideal care, you wouldn’t have aggression issues to deal with.
Having understood the ideal habitat for these animals, make no mistakes in setting up their habitat to avoid stress and the likelihood of diseases. Keep in mind that besides stress, one other factor that leads to diseases for aquatic animals is poor water quality.
Therefore, ensure you use a dechlorinated water for your animal and keep it clean to avoid the growth of bacteria. Drop us feedback if you have further questions. Best of luck with your pet turtle.