The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is a large freshwater turtle of the family Chelydridae. Its natural range extends from southeastern Canada south, west to the Rocky Mountains (and beyond, where introduced), throughout Mexico, and as far south as Ecuador. This species and the larger Alligator Snapping Turtle are both widely referred to as snapping turtles or snappers (though the Common Snapping Turtle, as its name implies, is much more widespread overall).
Common snappers are noted for their belligerent dispositions when out of the water, their powerful beak-like jaws and their highly mobile head and neck (hence the specific name "serpentina," meaning "snake-like"). In some areas they are hunted very heavily for their meat, a popular ingredient in turtle soup. These turtles have lived for up to 47 years in captivity, while the lifespan of wild individuals is estimated to be around 30 years.