snapping turtle

2 ENTRIES FOUND:

snapping turtle

noun

: a large American turtle that has strong jaws and that is sometimes used for food

Full Definition of SNAPPING TURTLE

:  either of two large American freshwater turtles (family Chelydridae) with a large head, powerful jaws, a long tail, and a strong musky odor:
a :  one (Chelydra serpentina) that has the head covered with smooth skin, has large plates in a double row on the underside of the tail, and is distributed from eastern Canada to Central America
b :  alligator snapping turtle

Illustration of SNAPPING TURTLE

First Known Use of SNAPPING TURTLE

1784

Rhymes with SNAPPING TURTLE

snapping turtle

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).—Walter Dawn

Either of two species (family Chelydridae) of edible, omnivorous, freshwater turtles found in North and Central America. They are tan to black and have a rough upper shell, a small cross-shaped lower shell, a long tail, and a large head with hooked jaws. Known for their fierceness, they lunge at aggressors and prey and bite them with their powerful jaws. The common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) has a shell 8–12 in. (20–30 cm) long and weighs 10–35 lbs (4.5–16 kg). The alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temmincki), the largest freshwater turtle in the U.S., has a shell 16–28 in. (40–70 cm) long and weighs 40–155 lbs (18–70 kg). It lies quietly on the bottom of slow moving bodies of water, luring fishes by means of a wormlike appendage on the floor of its open mouth.

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