How Long Do Snapping Turtles Live (And Why)?

How Long Do Snapping Turtles Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Around 30 to 70 years (Approximately)

Turtles belong to the phylum Chordata, class Reptilia, family Chelydridae, and species C. serpentina. The scientific name of snapping turtles is Chelydra serpentina, and they are omnivorous animals and are aquatic turtles. They are omnivores and hence eat both plants and animals. They have a long lifespan as compared with other animals.

Snapping turtles got their name as snapping turtles due to a lack of ability to put their legs and head fully into their shells. Gradually with time and due to evolution, they have got strong jaws to protect themselves from danger. All the snapping turtles undergo hibernation in mid-October up to the upcoming May that is when the temperature falls below 41 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are natives of the Nearctic region and extend from Southern Alberts to the east of Nova Scotia, the Gulf of Mexico, and central Texas. They live in freshwater habitats like lakes, ponds, rivers, etc., and brackish water bodies. The different types of snapping turtles are common snapping turtles, Central South American snapping turtles, and alligator snapping turtles.

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How Long Do Snapping Turtles?

Snapping turtles have a long lifespan. They can live for forty years or more. Generally, common snapping turtles may live as long as seventy to seventy-five years. According to a survey, the oldest living snapping turtle was an alligator snapping turtle. It lived for around one hundred and fifty years.

Snapping turtles are also considered pet animals. However, these turtles require a lot of care, adequate temperature, and a healthy diet. Snapping turtles are the most intelligent among all the available species of turtles. One of the evidence of their intelligence is to adapt to a wide variety of habitats.

Snapping turtles spend a lot of time in water habitats but also live on land. They go to land at the time of laying eggs. Although, they can not survive without water for more than a week or a few months. Snapping turtles attain maturity at an early age of about five to seven years.

Snapping turtles grow about 5 to 6 inches in around two years. In the next 20 years, they grow as long as 12 to 14 inches in shell length. In general, adult common snapping turtles are around 19 inches long in shell length. An adult snapping turtle’s weight is about 40 kgs.

How Long Do Snapping turtlesDuration
livebetween 35 to 70 years
attain maturityaround 5 to 7 years
live without watera week or a few months
live without foodabout 160 days

Why Do Snapping Turtles Live So Long?

Snapping turtles have a long lifespan for many reasons. First is that they are omnivorous animals and hence, have a large food availability. And also, they can live food and water for a long duration, which increases their chances of survival and lifespan.

They can survive without food and water because of their low metabolism. Low metabolism states that the calories burning process takes place gradually and not at once. Due to this, the organism has to eat less, and hence, the organism can survive for long without food. The adult snapping turtles have very few predators. However, many animals and insects feed upon the eggs laid by the snapping turtle.

They keep on growing slowly. Snapping turtles live long to maintain the food chain. Animals like snakes live by eating turtle eggs. Hence, they lay a large number of eggs at a time. Biologically as well the reason behind the lengthy lifespan is due to their DNA replication.


Snapping turtles are reptiles and are almost aquatic animals. Although, they lay eggs on land, which are food for many animals like snakes, raccoons, etc. Snapping turtles are heavy, omnivores, and intelligent animals. There are various species of snapping turtles present.

They have a comparatively long lifespan of up to seventy years for many reasons. Snapping turtles also play a chief role in the environment. They act as scavengers and help in cleaning the water habitats. They undergo hibernation from mid-October to May. They have a considerable ability to adapt to various habitats.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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