Did you know that the snapping turtle is New York State’s official state reptile? This largest species of freshwater turtle, weighing up to 35 pounds, can live between 30-40 years. There are some reports of snapping turtles living up to 100 years. They are most noticed in June when the female searches for soft warm soils to lay eggs. Each female will lay as many as 100 white eggs in a dug cavity before being covered with sand.
The size of a half dollar, baby turtles will emerge from their nest and instinctively head directly to the nearest water. In an average year, 80% of nests are destroyed by predators. Turtles hatch after three to four months. The temperature of the nest determines the sex of the baby turtles. Warm nests produce females, while cooler nests produce males. See a video of eggs emerging from the sand on the shores of Upper Saranac Lake https://www.facebook.com/121543751322159/videos/331789241489535
Snapping turtles have a highly mobile head and neck but can fully retract into its shell. They can be intimidating when out of the water but underwater they move cautiously along the lake bottom.
To help protect these prehistoric-looking creatures please keep a watchful lookout for turtles crossing the road.