Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Snapping Turtle

Several days ago my friend Bill called to tell me there was a turtle laying eggs in his yard. Sure enough, this common snapping turtle (Chelydra Serpentina) was busily depositing her eggs beside a barrier along a narrow ditch.

I didn't approach any closer for fear of disturbing her. (Also, it's not a good idea to get too close to snapping turtles any time.)

Typically, snappers lay 25 - 75 eggs, then cover them with sand. The youngsters should hatch in about three months.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a tribute to a wonderful man who did much for Ocracoke Island, Marvin Wyche Howard (1897-1969). You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052113.htm.


  1. Anonymous1:17 PM

    Question for you, Philip--are snapping turtles prevalent on Ocracoke? And to your knowledge are they sought after as a game species? I recall enjoying homemade turtle soup as a kid, though it was a rarity and is a very uncommon menu item at restaurants here in Pittsburgh. Just curious. If the turtles ARE common on Ocracoke, I'd presume they stick to marshy areas, correct? I've never seen them--and I wouldn't think they'd live--in the ocean or the sound. Thanks, as always.

    1. I don't see snapping turtles very often, but there might be lots of them in the "wilderness" areas. I've had turtle soup, but never snapping turtle soup. It is not on any restaurant menu on Ocracoke that I know of.