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.
Lat: 42.01, Long: -96.21
Spotted on Apr 11, 2012
Submitted on Apr 12, 2012
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