What do Snapping Turtles Eat

Are you familiar with the snapping turtles? What do Snapping Turtles Eat? Well, these are the Kung Fu master-looking turtles that can bite off your finger! 

That’s a bit harsh. Let’s re-introduce the snappers. Snapping turtles are long-necked rare freshwater turtles in the North American countries.

You might not know what do snapping turtles eat. So, today I’m going to tell you about their diet. Without further ado, let’s find out. 

First, you should be aware that there are two main types, and the two have different ways of getting their food. We have:

  1. Common snapping turtles
  2. Alligator snapping turtles

Generally, both of the turtle species are omnivorous; they eat both plants and animals. 

However, the majority of their diet consists of plants. Well, a plausible explanation is that they are too slow to catch up with other animals. Meanwhile, the plants stay where they are, and they are quite nutritious. 

What do Common Snapping Turtles Eat

What do Common Snapping Turtles Eat

The common snapping turtles, as the name suggests, are more widespread than the other type. They are toothless, but the snapping turtles have a rock-solid jaw. Therefore, they have no trouble breaking their food. 

Mostly, they like to eat plants as they don’t go anywhere. However, they also enjoy fishes, snakes, frogs, and insects, either dead or alive.

Moreover, they might even eat other turtles. A common snapping turtle might visualize another turtle’s tail as a yummy snake and start eating it. 

What do Alligator Snapping Turtles Eat

What do Alligator Snapping Turtles Eat

The alligator snapping turtles are different than the common ones. Things that set the alligator snapping turtles apart from the common snapper are the spiky dinosaur-like shells, bigger heads, and their worm-shaped bait of a tongue. 

Like the common snappers, the alligator snapping turtles are omnivores. They, too, have a strong jaw without any teeth. Also, they eat more or less the same food; they like fishes, insects, frogs, snakes, and other turtles. It does not matter to them if the animal is living.

However, the way they get their food is different from the common snappers, and exciting too!

The alligator snapping turtles sit idle near the water with their mouth open. Here, the worm-like tongue plays a crucial role. Some ill-fated fish mistake it for an actual worm and jump out of the water. You know what happens next; the alligator snapping turtle shuts its mouth close, trapping its meal. 

Do Snapping Turtles Eat Lettuce

Do Snapping Turtles Eat Lettuce

Well, I told you that snapping turtles will eat anything. So, they’ll eat lettuce as well.

Lettuce is an excellent choice for a snapping turtle if you have one as a pet. Lettuce is fulfilling and nutritious. You can feed the turtles five leaves two to three times a week. 

Moreover, you can provide them with other vegetables, fruits, fishes, and other animals. However, if you overfeed them, they will get obese and unhealthy.

How Big do Snapping Turtles Get

How Big do Snapping Turtles Get

A snapping turtle can be around from 8 inches to one foot or two. Usually, a male snapping turtle grows more massive than the female.

About the weight, it commonly maxes out at 75 pounds for pets, and 45 pounds for the wild ones. Sulcata Tortoise is known to be the third-largest species of tortoise in the world.

Snapping Turtle Eggs

Snapping Turtle Eggs

Snapping turtles will lay their eggs in their nests during the spring or summer. It’s their time to mate. Then, after breeding, the female lays a lot of eggs. Usually, the number is between 20 and 50, but it can go as high as 100!

Within 3 to 4 months, the new snapping turtles come out of the eggs.


Snapping turtles are peculiar animals with different eating behaviors. They are omnivores, eating everything that they find, even other turtles!


1. How fast do snapping turtles grow?

Snapping turtles have a long lifespan. They can grow until they are older than 40. The growth from baby to maturity takes around ten years.

2. Are snapping turtles dangerous?

If you don’t mess with them, then you need not worry. However, if the snappers feel any danger, they retaliate. The bite is powerful enough to cut off your finger!

If you want to know more about Snapping turtles you can learn PetsHoods