Common Snapping Turtle
As a young turtle, Emerson was found abandoned in the bathtub of an empty apartment. He was brought to the Milwaukee Public Museum and then moved to Schlitz Audubon to serve as an Animal Ambassador in 2000.
Emerson’s Hatch Year: est. 1997
Weight: 14 pounds
Shell length: 14 inches
Distribution and Habitat: Found throughout Wisconsin. Prefer aquatic habitats such as ponds, lakes, and rivers.
Diet: Omnivorous. Feed on aquatic animals and plants.
Lifespan in the Wild: 30-45 years
Lifespan in Captivity: 50-75 years
Fun Fact: The force of a snapping turtle bite is 209 Newtons. Humans bite harder with their molars, with an average force of 500 Newtons.
About my Species: The common snapping turtle is Wisconsin’s heaviest and largest turtle species. Preferring aquatic habitats, these turtles are rarely seen basking but will float near the water surface to warm their bodies. They are top predators of the food chain, hunting small fish and other animals, and are also known to scavenge. They become dormant during the winter months on the bottoms of lakes and ponds.