It’s snapping turtle egg-laying season in Connecticut

“Turtles were around before dinosaurs, and they watched them emerge, prosper, and disappear altogether. Without changing their body plan at all, turtles further observed the rise of birds and mammals. They are still here today, waiting to see what happens to us.” —Thomas F. Tyning, “Stokes Nature Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles.”

It is turtle egg-laying season, and our female reptilian friends are traveling from the safety of their watery homes to find sunny locations in well-drained soil to lay their eggs. I have encountered these amazing animals many times, both in the water and on land. This past week I found a snapping turtle busy digging her egg nest in the sand along the side of a back country road. I decided to stop and observe the show that occurs only once a year.

Her shell carapace (upper shell) was about 10 inches in length, and though her tail is long, it was completely covered by the soil and sand she had excavated with her powerful hind feet and claws. Her hind section was in the hole, and she was slightly raised on her front legs, and did not move when I approached to get a photo. I snapped a few pictures and then backed off to let her lay her eggs in peace.

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