Chelydridae – Snapping turtles

The ‘dinosaurs of turtle world’ are armed with spiked shell and beaklike jaws

Their protective actions give them their name. People who come across them are frequently terrified by their enormous size and ancient appearance. They’ll instantly snap their teeth into you if you get too close.

The family is spread across southeastern Asia, northern South America, and North America. They play vital roles in aquatic environments and are top predators in many food chains.

Rarely do snapping turtles surface from the water to bask. Despite being primarily aquatic, they are not particularly good swimmers and are frequently seen merely wandering on the bottom.