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Common Snapping Turtle

Chelydra serpentina


This large turtle had the shell and face of a snapping turtle, and was easy to identify as there is only one species of snapping turtle in New Mexico.


The turtle was basking on a ditch bank, and retreated into the ditch water.


According to research I did snapping turtles are uncommon in the Rio Grande system, and may have been introduced. I saw two snapping turtles basking on the ditch bank nearby in the same location. It is unusual to see them, however, and in all the years I have been here I have only ever seen one other (in nearly the same location, perhaps one of the same individuals). All photos in the spotting are of the same individual, the other retreated into the water before I was close enough. It was a morning after the first significant rain we had received in quite some time, perhaps that has something to do with the appearance of the turtles.

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AshleyT a year 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!

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson a year ago

These guys are fearsome looking turtles...nice spotting, Graham!

maplemoth662 a year ago

muy agradable....

Graham Monroe
Spotted by
Graham Monroe

New Mexico, USA

Lat: 35.24, Long: -106.61

Spotted on May 22, 2018
Submitted on May 23, 2018

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