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Vocabulary

  • Extrapulmonary respiration – a mechanism by which snapping turtles can obtain oxygen during hibernation, when they are not breathing, by pushing their head out of the mud and allowing gas exchange to take place through the membranes of their mouth and throat.
  • Plastron – the part of the shell that covers the underside of the turtle.
  • Carapace – the hard upper shell of a turtle, crustacean, or arachnid.

Fun Facts

  • Unlike many other turtles, the plastron of the Snapping Turtle only covers the belly, leaving much of the turtle’s underside exposed.
  • The Snapping Turtle is the only turtle in CT that lays round eggs, instead of oval ones.
  • During hibernation, the Snapping Turtle may not breathe for 6 months! It uses extrapulmonary respiration, as defined above, to obtain needed oxygen.
  • Snapping turtles can live 80-100 yrs!
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