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Snapping Turtle Eggs Hatching

For the past three months, Snapping Turtle eggs have been buried roughly five to ten inches deep in sandy soil (depth depends on the size of the female laying them), absorbing  heat from the sun-warmed soil.  Come September, the relatively few Snapping Turtle eggs that have avoided predation are hatching.  The sex of the baby turtles correlates to the temperature of the clutch. Temperatures of 73-80 °F will produce males, slightly above and below will produce both sexes, and more extreme temperatures will produce females.  The miniature snappers crawl their way up through the earth and head for the nearest pond, probably the most perilous journey of their lives. 

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5 responses

  1. Alice

    Awwww…..Such tough little creatures! Wish I could gently wipe the sand away…

    September 16, 2022 at 9:15 am

  2. So, do you think this extremely hot summer will bring a mix of sexes?

    September 16, 2022 at 10:13 am

    • I was wondering if there was a plethora of female snappers hatching this fall!

      September 16, 2022 at 2:05 pm

      • I have worried that the rising temps associated with global warming are causing most turtle eggs to develop into males. With so may turtle species endangered or declining, this would be a really bad thing. Do you know whether the phenomena you mention regarding incubation temperature are the same for all turtle species, including sea turtles?

        September 16, 2022 at 3:35 pm

  3. Hi Kathie,
    I don’t know. I do know that many species of turtles experience the temperature/gender phenomenon, but don’t know the specifics of other species.

    September 17, 2022 at 9:37 am

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