Yesterday I saw this turtle in our front yard. Even at a distance, he looked huge! So I stepped into the front yard a little closer to him and decided to go in and get my camera. I decided to put on the long lens because I was a little apprehensive about getting too close to him. I was scared he might be a snapping turtle and I didn't want to get "snapped!"
A close-up of his tail. This looks very prehistoric!
And here's a side view of his head.
I looked him (or her) up on wikipedia. It IS a snapping turtle. They can weigh from 10 to 35 lbs. and even up to 75 lbs, the shell on an adult can grow up to 20 inches (he was pretty close to that in length, I believe), they have very strong jaws and can also injure by their claws (especially the back claws), can defecate, urinate and/or musk on you and should be avoided. The females lay 25 to 80 eggs a year.
He was headed for our little pond in the front yard probably to eat well. They will eat other reptiles, small mammals, and even snakes which I like!
So I kept my distance and photographed him and let him go!