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Old 08-10-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
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Many years ago I was out on one of our local lakes. There were no other boaters/fishermen around. I noticed a commotion in the middle of the lake – so I rowed over to take a look. It almost looked like a sea monster from a distance. As I got closer; I could clearly see two large (40 or 45 pound) snapping turtles that were mating. They were oblivious to my presence. They simply were rolling over and over on the top of the water.

While I have never encountered mating snapping turtles again; I am curious if others have ever observed this ceremony? I also presume that it might be possible that they mate on land – but I don't know (they looked like they had previously rehearsed doing their thing in water).

If you could not get a close look; you would write this observation off as an UFO or Big Foot sighting.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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if they were that big, they must have been alligator snapping turtles. you're right, they look like something from another planet..

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Old 08-10-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
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Originally Posted by uggabugga View Post
if they were that big, they must have been alligator snapping turtles. you're right, they look like something from another planet..
I actually had four of them in my twelve foot row boat at one time. By the time I got to shore one lost a leg to another one – they don't like each other anymore than they like us.

The worse thing that can happen to anybody is to have one of the large ones defecate in the back of your pickup truck. If you slow down the eye watering fumes catch up to you – sooner or later you know your going to run out of gas. No cop would be brave enough to write you a ticket – but they might call out an environmental hazmat cleanup crew! I was curious why the TV Turtle Man never had problems with a defecating snapping turtle?

I always caught more large turtles than small ones. In PA we have to use a hook that is one inch from the barb to the shaft and it must have a three inch shaft. The smaller turtles would just clean the hooks. I think that these were just the common snapping turtles – they can go up to seventy pounds.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:59 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Canoeing during the late summer, the shallow river was weed choked except for a narrow channel. I saw two snappers tussling in the channel and as I closed in, the male was looking at me with an expression that said, 'I'm going to die if I don't move'....guess he decided death was preferable to leaving his lover. He held on as I passed by within inches.


Last edited by Kracer; 08-18-2012 at 07:07 PM.. Reason: add photo
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,960 posts, read 13,469,245 times
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Originally Posted by Kracer View Post
Canoeing during the late summer, the shallow river was weed choked except for a narrow channel. I saw two snappers tussling in the channel and as I closed in, the male was looking at me with an expression that said, 'I'm going to die if I don't move'....guess he decided death was preferable to leaving his lover. He held on as I passed by within inches.
Did you immediately identify them as mating snapping turtles? I was maybe 200 yards away and I had no idea what I was looking at. I only identified this act as mating turtles as I got closer. Good thing it wasn't the Lock Ness monster! But, yes; I got very close to them and they were oblivious.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:44 PM
 
Location: NJ
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They had their private parts hidden and perhaps they were just necking.

Walking in the spooky woods rife with legendary ghosts, I stood in an area that was quite open. you could see for 75 yards. I hear something running thru the leaves and can see where the sound is comming from but see nothing making the sound. my hair stands on end. As the sound gets closer I see two box turtles 'running' directly at me.

One turtle directly behind the other as if it was drafting the first turtle. Suddenly the first turtle pulled up and the 2nd turtle landed ontop of the first turtle's shell. the top T was stretching its neck downward to see what the bottom T was doing...she had closed up her shell completely.

Now unless the first turtle was a purse snatcher and the 2nd a good samaritan, they appeared to be in some stage of foreplay.

If you look at the bottom of box turtle shells/plastron, one gender has a noticably concave surface. Perhaps this rare mating ritual is its intended purpose. Wish I had the camera back then.

those were the only two T on T observations I ever saw.
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