Saturday, May 22, 2010

More NH Wildlife Encounters...


On our way home from Manchester last night, Allie & I spied a turtle on the side of the road near Rt 11! I got out of my car and took a picture! I was wondering what it was doing on the road. In fact, it was laying eggs or going to lay them!
Here is the little guy (or girl in this case).

I looked up the species of turtle and its facts and here goes.
This is a snapping turtle, common in parts of NH. It is actually called Chelydra serpentina and is widespread throughout NH.
It is a large turtle - from 8 - 14 inches and weighing up to 70 pounds!
It's shell or carapace is rough and can be black to light brown. The head and tail has a distinctive saw-toothed edge.
The snapping turtle lives in any permanent body of water - lake, swamp, river, bog, stream with vegetation and muddy bottoms.
It lays its eggs (20 - 40 at a time!) in soil banks or sand or gravel or lawns or fields. It may be hundreds of feet from the water.
It hibernates under sunken logs or other submerged debris.

Here are areas of NH where snapping turtles have been reported - notice how the lakes region of NH has an abundance of sightings and the cold North has few.

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