|Female snapping turtle laying eggs, June 2015|
Click on photo to enlarge.
Serpentina in the Linnaean name comes from observation that the neck is snake-like long and snake-like fast. Extended, head and neck are about same length as the width of the shell. Many the person has had a finger bitten for not knowing this fact.
Snappers hiss. If confronted on land, snappers expel air from their lungs to make more room to pull neck into shell. From this neck-retracted position the neck muscles and bones are ready for a very fast strike and bite.
Each state has its own restrictions. For example, Connecticut allows five per day, 30/year, shell length to exceed 13 inches, and allows hook fishing and turtle traps in addition to by hand, net or gaff.
Southeastern states are home to alligator snapping turtles, an entirely different species that weighs in at 100-200 pounds. This is the turtle that has an extension on its tongue that looks like a wriggling work. Fish swim up to eat it and become eaten.