What do Snapping Turtles Eat?

Snapping Turtles are slow,  interestingly unique,  and shy animals but they can make the best pets if they are adopted by right-minded people. A snapping turtle weighs between 5 and 25 pounds and fees on different kinds of foods.

if you find them in the wilderness,  the snapping Turtles might feed on fishes,  aquatic vegetation,  worms,  frogs, Beatles and also a few small mammals occasionally.

What do Snapping Turtles Eat

While it is easier to maintain the diet of snapping Turtles in the wild,  if you keep them as a pet,  you need to be very sure about what they eat. If you don’t know the types of food that you should feed your snapping turtle at home,  here is a list that you should consider.

Foods to offer to snapping Turtles


The thought of eating worms might seem cross to you as a human being, but these slimy tiny creatures are the favorites of snapping Turtles. You give them a bowl of worms and you will find them safely snacking on them inside their natural habitats. It is possible to get such meal worms for your snapping turtle both online and at your local Pet store. You may even consider getting worms at a fishing bait store as well.


One more insect that the snapping turtle finds both in the wild as well as when they are kept as pets is crickets. These are small insects that are affordable and that can be easily e dumped inside the tank of a turtle. Visit your local pet shop to increase your stock of weekly cricket supplies.

Other small fish or minnows

The snapping Turtles love to spend their sunny days sitting on the rocks, snoozing, and munching on the tasty minnows. As long as a snap verse staple diet is concerned, small fishes are a must-have since they are a vital source of important Minerals and vitamins. So the next time you visit your local pet store, pick up some guppies or minnows and dump them inside the Turtle’s tank.


It is really surprising to note that 65% of the snapping Turtle’s daily diet constitutes of veggies. The snappers, when left in the wild, feed on wild plants and algae. On the other hand,  when these Turtles are kept as pets, they simply enjoy their leafy green vegetables found in the household. Lettuce, celery, and carrots can make a great combination for pet snapping turtles.

The biology and habits of snapping Turtles

Snapping Turtles are large reptiles that usually live in freshwater lakes, rivers, swamps, and streams. you will find the largest number of snapping Turtles in south-east Canada, Florida, South Western Rocky mountains, and Nova Scotia. When these Turtles are inside water, they remain hidden either in sand or behind aquatic plants found at the bottom of the water body.

If you find a snapping turtle swimming out of the water, you should always be careful about its furious attitude. These creatures have a history of biting human beings whenever they are in direct encounter with each other.

There are two different types of snapping Turtles that look different but belong to the same family.  For example,  the largest common snapping turtle weighs around 75 pounds while the alligator snapping turtle weighs up to 240 pounds.

Is it common for snapping Turtles to eat dirt?

The snapping turtles are usually most commonly found our omnivores but the alligator snapping turtles are carnivorous. When they feed themselves,  you may feel that they are also showing the desert and Earth along with the food particles.

But the reality is that the snapping Turtles sift through the ground while they feed themselves and separate other small animals or insects from the dirt during this process. They are usually very clean animals and they try to stay away from sand, dirt, and mud.

What are the preferable food items for snapping Turtles?

As already mentioned earlier,  the diet of snapping Turtles varies but they are mostly omnivorous. Since a maximum of the time is spent inside water, you check to expect them to feed on aquatic vegetation. But at the same time, they will also eat fish which constitutes a key part of their diet. snapping Turtles are not agile swimmers and hence their prey is usually those fishes that swim very slowly like water snakes and eels.

Common snapping Turtles don’t have teeth and research suggests that their tongues are not in the shape of a worm. Hence they fail to use their tongue as bait. Nevertheless, this species is blessed with strong jaws which lets it feed on amphibians, plants, birds, and fish.

You can also find the snapping Turtles feeding on dead animals, and sometimes even on dead Turtles. When a common snapping turtle catches another Turtle, it first bites off its head which is a sign that it has won in its territory.  Both types of snapping Turtles love meat and here are a few options that you can think of:

  • Trims and crab
  • Frogs and tadpoles
  • Goldfish, sun, and tuna
  • Leeches
  • Snails and mealworms
  • Dragonflies, Cockroaches, and ants
  • Snakes and water snakes
  • Small Turtles, salamanders, and adult Turtles

Snapping Turtles can also digest if they are given:

  • Ducklings and ducks
  • Bird eggs
  • Swans
  • Goose and Gosling
  • Chicken
  • Rats
  • Rabbits, squirrels, beavers, and raccoons

Foods that you should avoid giving your snapping turtle

Any food that the turtle finds attractive and tasteless will be refused. A snapping turtle will eat only something that is visually appealing and that has ingredients with good fragrance.

The best option is to give the food that they eat in the wild since a snapping turtle doesn’t prefer experimenting with food. Here are a few Forbidden ingredients that you should never give  to a snapping turtle:

  • Crackers, bread, and pasta
  • Dairy products like yoga, yogurt cheese, and milk since they are tough to digest
  • Hamburgers and raw meat
  • Bacon, sausages, and Salami can also lead to sickness due to excessive additives and preservatives

Therefore now that you are sure about what a snapping turtle eats, don’t make any mistakes while feeding it as a small blunder could lead to its death.

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