Snapping turtles have an appearance close enough to the alligators. But do not worry. The snappers are not as huge as those animals, and their weight is safe for petting.
The average weight of common snapping turtles is around 10 to 35 lbs (4.5 to 16 kgs). On the other hand, the bulky and beast-looking alligator snapping turtles weigh about 50 to 70 kgs (110 to 175 lbs).
What is the healthy weight range of a snapping turtle? How happens if your pet is over or underweight? If you want to know, come aboard.
How Much Does A Snapping Turtle Weight?
The snapping turtle species gets divided into two subspecies,
- Common snapping turtle
- Alligator snapping turtle
While the common snapping turtles are medium, the alligator snapping turtles own a bulky body. Even petting them is nothing less challenging than petting an alligator.
So, how much do these snapping turtles weigh? It totally depends on their species and size.
Let’s talk about the common snapping turtles first.
Common Snapping Turtle
The native habitat of the common snapping turtles ranges throughout Eastern North America. These creatures have an average carapace length of 8 to 14 inches (20 to 36 cm). But the highest recorded size of the species is 22 inches.
How much does a common snapping turtle weigh? The average weight range for common snapping turtles is 4.5 to 16 kgs (10 to 35 lbs).
However, some turtles might outgrow the usual growth scale, not in an unhealthy way. In those several cases, the highest weight reported is 34 kgs or 75 lbs.
The common snapping turtles exhibit sex dimorphism, and their size reflects it. Generally, the male common snapping turtles grow 10 to 20 inches and weigh around 10 to 16 kgs or more.
On the other hand, the female snapping turtles are shorter than the males and have a carapace length of 8 to 18 inches. Their average weight is 4.5 to 12 kgs.
Alligator Snapping Turtle
The alligator snapping turtles live in the rivers or freshwater streams that lead towards the Gulf of Mexico. You will recognize an alligator snapping turtle even from a distance because of the look. These creatures have scaly bodies and a hooked beak.
The alligator snapping turtles have bulky bodies and grow larger than most aquatic species. Their average carapace length is 16 to 26 inches (40 to 66 cm) but can reach up to 32 inches (81 cm).
The weight of an alligator snapping turtle totally depends on its size and health. Generally, a fit alligator snapper weighs around 50 to 80 kgs.
Like the common snapping turtles, the alligator snapping turtles also have differences between males and females.
Usually, the male alligator snapping turtles grow larger in carapace than the females. They might weigh up to 110 kgs. On the contrary, the female alligator snappers cross 50 kgs in body weight.
Learn about other sex dimorphic features of snapping turtles from here.
How Much Does A Full Grown Snapping Turtle Weigh?
The average carapace length of an adult common snapping turtle is 8 to 14 inches, and it weighs between 4.5 to 16 kgs. On the other hand, a full-grown alligator snapping turtle might cross 26 inches on average with about 50 to 80 kgs of weight.
You already know snapping turtles have two subspecies. While the alligator snapping turtles are big and bulky, the common snapping turtles are medium-sized. Hence, it is clear that the adult snapping turtles of the same age from both subspecies will have a different physical structure.
The adult male and female common snapping turtles range between 8 to 14 inches. However, most of the time, the male turtles might outgrow and reach 22 inches or more in carapace length.
Considering the size, the usual weight range of the common snapping turtles is 4.5 to 16 kgs. The biggest of these turtles might weigh up to 34 kgs or over.
Now, the alligator snapping turtles have an average carapace length of 16 to 26 inches. Many turtles, especially males, often reach 32 inches.
You might be thinking these turtles are the complete beast. Well, you are partially true.
The adult alligator snapping turtles are heavy and weigh around 50 to 80 kgs. This range might expand depending on the growth of the creature. According to several reports, a team of researchers once caught an alligator turtle of 113 kgs, the largest snapping turtle to the present date.
How Big Is A 10 Year Old Snapping Turtle?
A 10 year old snapping turtle is around 10 to 12 inches big and might weigh more than 10 kgs. The common snapping turtles grain sexual maturity around that age.
Remember, the size range I have mentioned, 10 to 12 inches is the average length of a 10 year old snapping turtle. The carapace length of your pet snapping turtle might vary from this.
Let me assure you. The size of your turtle is insignificant as long as your turtle is healthy and doing okay.
I have a friend whose snapping turtle reached 10 years last month, and it is only 7 inches long. At first, my friend was concerned. But after consulting with the vet and diagnosing the pet, everything turned out alright.
In my friend’s case, the turtle was shorter than expected. Many times, the pets outgrow the usual length. No matter the situation, observe the daily behavior of the pet first.
Do not stress over the size of your turtle if the pet is fit and active. It can be the gene or some other growth-related issue. However, you can seek expert advice to calm your mind.
The size of any turtle species depends on its growth, health, and other factors. Hence, you can not predict the exact length or weight of the creature. But yes, you can always make an assumption by going through the data.
How Big Is The Largest Snapping Turtle?
The largest snapping turtle ever encountered was 31.8 inches ( 80.8 cm) long. But yes, the carapace length might cross 32 inches in rare cases. Generally, an alligator snapping turtle weighs 50 to 80 kgs, but the heaviest one is around 249 lbs or 183 kgs.
You already know snapping turtles have two subspecies. Between these two, the alligator snapping turtles grow bigger and bulkier. The average carapace length of this subspecies is 16 to 26 inches. But in many cases, the male alligator snapping turtles reaches 30 inches or more.
The alligator snapping turtles grow bigger. Hence, it is obvious that they will weigh heavier than the common snapping turtles.
While the common snapping turtles weigh 4.5 to 16 kgs, the average weight of the alligator snapping turtles is 50 to 80 kgs. The monster-looking alligator snapping turtles might grow heavier and cross 100 kgs.
The heaviest snapping turtle ever caught was 113 kgs. A few sources claim to find a snapping turtle of about 135 kgs weight, but it is not verified yet.
How Much Does The Biggest Snapping Turtle Weigh?
According to reports, a 16-year-old alligator snapping turtle officially holds the record of being the biggest of its species and weighs around 249 pounds (113 kgs). Another source claims that the heaviest snapping turtle ever captured was 403 pounds (183 kgs). However, there is no proof or official documentation of such a record.
The first phenomenon is a 1999 incident. Shedd Aquarium at Chicago carried out all the weight measurements of the 249 pounds alligator snapping turtle, including official documentation. The institute then sent this turtle to another organization, Tennessee Aquarium, for breeding.
The latter case is of 1937. As per the sources, the gigantic snapping turtle of 403 pounds was found in the Neosho River, Kansas. Even though many publications and popular documentaries preach this data, there is no basis for this news.
Many sources claim that the largest snapping turtle is 135 kgs heavy. However, there is not much information available regarding this data either.
How Big Is A 100 Year Old Snapping Turtle?
As per the rough estimation, a 100-year-old snapping turtle might be 125 to 175 pounds, or even more. Usually, the old, full-grown turtles have a carapace length of 16 to 26 inches and sometimes reach up to 32 inches.
The common snapping turtles have an average lifespan of 30 to 50 years. On the other hand, the alligator snapping turtles live more than 80 years in captivity. However, the subspecies crossing 100 years in a household is rare. Hence, the given data is a rough guess.
Back in 2012, Travis Thomas caught a wild alligator snapping turtle during his research survey. The turtle was 80 years old at that time. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission researched the creature and estimated its 100-year-old weight by considering its health and other factors.
Another 80-year-old alligator snapping turtle also got caught in 2014 in New River, North Of Gainesville. The male weighed 100 pounds at that age. Hence, the estimation of it growing into a 125-pound beast is not a wonder.
Growth Rate Of Snapping Turtles
The common snapping turtles have an average medium-sized growth. But, their close brother, the alligator snapping turtles, grows into a giant. Of course, no turtle is born big. They experience healthy growth throughout the maturing years.
You will notice fast growth in these turtles during the first few years. A 1.5 inches alligator snapping turtle hatchling reaches up to 10 inches of carapace length in just 5 years.
However, the development slows down with their age. After 25 years, these snapping turtles might not grow anymore, at least not in length.
I am adding the size and weight comparison chart of a snapping turtle at different ages of its life.
Snapping turtle growth rate:
|Hatchlings||1.5 inches||few ounces|
|1 year||2.5 to 4 inches||1 to 2 pounds|
|2 years||5 to 6 inches||—|
|3 years||6 to 8 inches||—|
|5 years old||8 to 10 inches||—|
|10 years old||10 to 12 inches||10 to 35 pounds|
|15 to 20||12 to 16 inches||35 pounds++|
|40 years old||16 to 26 inches++||46 pounds (female)|
|50 years old||16 to 26 inches++||64 pounds|
|80 years old||16 to 26 inches++||100 pounds|
|100 years old||16 to 26 inches++||125 to 175 pounds (male)|
N.B. I have gathered this information from my friends and online resources. I haven’t got hold of any verified or legit data on the turtle weight at some particular ages. Hence, I have kept the cells blank and will update them with time.
Remember, the chart above is not ideal documentation. Your turtle might grow shorter or bigger than the ranges mentioned above. The size and weight growth of turtles depend on various factors.
There is nothing to worry about if the pet is healthy, active, and eating well. You can consult a vet if you are concerned.
How Old Is A 100lb Snapping Turtle?
A 100 lb snapping turtle might be enjoying its 80s. The alligator snapping turtles grow into a monstrous size with its growing age, and the species can live more than 100 years.
In 2014, the wildlife conservationists got hold of a giant Suwannee alligator snapping turtle. This enormous-sized snapping turtle weighed around 100 lb, and its estimated age was 80 years.
Usually, the snapping turtles barely cross 80 years in captivity. But yes, there are records of snapping turtles living more than 150 years.
Snapping Turtle Weight Issues
Do not feed your snapping turtle right, and your pet will suffer from obesity or malnutrition. Sometimes, the owners share vague knowledge of the turtle food lifestyle. As a result, this ignorance leads to overfeeding and underfeeding.
An unbalanced diet or improper feeding routine is the main reason behind the snapping turtle being underweight, lean, or sick-looking. Again, sickness or other diseases also impact the weight of the turtles. These turtles often miss out on the average growth rate and stay weaker than their friends.
What if you feed your turtles more than they need? It is helpful neither.
Feeding the snapping turtles more food will cause rapid shedding and faster growth. But wait. It is not healthy. The pets will fall victim to obesity.
Obese turtles have fat on their legs and folds. They might find it challenging to walk to hunt with the bulky body. The overweight condition often leads to a kidney stone or liver failure.
So, you should feed the snapping turtle a balanced food and observe its health condition closely. Take action if you find inconsistency in its growth. The best way to do that is to keep a tracking notepad.
How To Maintain Healthy Weight Of A Snapping Turtle?
You can not say for sure how big your snapping turtle will grow next year. It is because the development depends on various factors,
- Food habit
- Enclosure arrangement
- Living environment, etc.
But yes, you can make the best arrangements from your end to ensure that your pet has a healthy growth. Here is what you should do,
- Snapping turtles grow big. You would require spacious tanks to accommodate these pets. The alligator snapping turtles gain a bulky body within 40 years, and it becomes challenging to raise them at home. Consider these possibilities before welcoming the pets. A congested home has an adverse effect on turtle growth.
- Snapping turtles are aquatic species, but they bask from time to time. Hence, both land and water areas are needed.
- Heating lamps, UV light, tank heater, and water filters are the mandatory items in any turtle enclosure. The lack of one supply will lead to diseases. For example, the UV lamp provides UVB rays, which aids in calcium absorption. The turtle develops a bumpy and uneven shell or lumpy bones due to the lack of UV exposure. Many turtles do not reach their average size growth for the same reason.
- Food is another thing that you need to consider carefully. The snapping turtles are omnivorous. So, feed them snails, insects, fishes, plants, vegetables, and all the minerals they require. Do not leave out the calcium and vitamin supplements.
- The temperature also impacts the growth of the turtles. The ideal temperature for a snapping turtle enclosure ranges from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lastly, do regular checkups. This way, you can prevent any upcoming diseases.
The common snapping turtles weigh around 10 to 35 pounds. On the other hand, the alligator snapping turtles grow 50 to 80 kgs big. Raising a snapping turtle requires space and patience. You must take action if your turtle is not showing healthy growth.