Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Common Snapping Turtle Hatchling

Chelydra serpentina serpentina


Snapper hatchling luckily spotted by a co-worker sitting on top of the mud. Not sure of the exact age, but you could still see where the yolk sac was attached and the shell was still fairly soft.


Spotted in a small wetland in eastern Iowa. Snapping turtles occupy all types of freshwater habitats (streams, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, marshes, swamps), especially those with soft mud bottoms and abundant aquatic vegetation or submerged brush and logs.


In Iowa, female snappers are sexually mature at ~ 8 years. Female turtles sometimes store sperm for several years. Sperm storage allows individuals to mate at any time of the year independent of female ovulation, and it also allows females to lay eggs every season without needing to mate.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


SarahWhitt 4 years ago

LOVE IT!! :)

AshleyT 4 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

avramova 9 years ago cute :)

marylou.wildlife 9 years ago

Barefeetbilly, I am sure its a common snapper. Although, an alligator snapper would have been even cooler to see this young.

barefeetbilly 10 years ago

Are you sure that is not an Alligator Snapper. It has quite a tail on it!

akamberg 10 years ago

Oh my gosh it's so cute I want to break it!

Ismael Chaves
Ismael Chaves 10 years ago

So cute

marylou.wildlife 10 years ago

Thanks everyone! Baby snappers are probably in my top 5 favorite things ever :)

hio 10 years ago


NeilDazet 10 years ago

Great spotting! The detailed description and notes are a nice contribution to the Project Noah community!

shekainah d. alaban
shekainah d. alaban 10 years ago

Very cute!

AnnaWhipkey 10 years ago

so cute

Spotted by

Iowa, USA

Spotted on Apr 11, 2012
Submitted on Apr 12, 2012

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team