Chelydridae (snapping turtles; order Chelonia, suborder Cryptodira) A family of freshwater turtles in which the head is large, with knobs of skin around the face. The carapace is incompletely ossified, and the plastron is reduced to a cross-strut. The tail is long, with lateral spines. Snapping turtles are carnivorous and obtain food on the bottom of ponds and rivers. There are two species, found in the USA.
snap·ping tur·tle • n. a large American freshwater turtle (family Chelydridae) with a long neck and strong hooked jaws. Two North American species include the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and the larger alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temminckii).
snapping turtles See CHELYDRIDAE.
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