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Go Back   FaunaClassifieds > Reptile & Amphibian - General Discussion Forums > Field Collecting/Observing


Field Collecting/Observing Sightings of herps in the wild, where-tos and how-tos, as well as photos of herps in their native environment.

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Old 05-30-2006, 01:31 PM   #1
old guy
A night in heaven ?

In the mid-west Kansas area we got a massive stormy night or I should say AM. I went out in my herping vehicle at 5 am with my rechargeable spot lights and drove my country road for a 14 mile round trip. This was of course after the storm. I had to stop 47 times for > frogs, toads and several species of turtles ( all water species ) and moved them off of the pavement. By the time I got back the sun was coming up and I went on my cut and carved out wildlife paths on my property and found this guy stuck in my lean to barn.......
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:38 PM   #2
Snappers are on the move bigtime. I was late to work because I kept pulling turtles off the road this morning. At least 15 or so.
Old 05-31-2006, 12:43 AM   #3
Not to be rude... but you should never hold any type of turtle by the tail. It causes severe damage to their spine, which leads to death. Just my two cents.
Old 05-31-2006, 08:49 AM   #4
old guy
not to be rude but

while i agree on " other " species of turtles not on the 2 species of snappers in the USA. Look at any book of herping and see many pictures of the preferred way to hold a snapper by tail ( but also by the neck region of back of the shell ). Either you have no knowledge of the hardiness of this species or have never dealt with this species. This species is built to endure almost any kind of handling and with out consequences of injury. AND the biggest grist of the picture and sensitiveness of your observation of what you think is > the aggressiveness of the species and capacity of causing injury to not the turtle but to humans trying to pick up as other species are picked up. The snapper species can and will turn their heads up and down, side ways to sideways different than other species to deliver a very serious bite. IN all books on fieldherping that I have , the way that i held this turtle for the very short time period is the preferred way ! No buts about it ! LOL ! Oh by the way...i didn';t keep this one but have kept common snappers and alligator snappers for well over 20 years and all long term kept were all picked up this way with NO problems what so ever. Not a flame to you poster but maybe ya think I know what I'm doing ? Or anybody else ?
Old 05-31-2006, 02:16 PM   #5
Originally Posted by detrick105
Not to be rude... but you should never hold any type of turtle by the tail. It causes severe damage to their spine, which leads to death. Just my two cents.

Ive read the same thing, Old Guy is the only person to say otherwise. Im just saying.
Old 05-31-2006, 05:05 PM   #6
old guy
I'm not saying either of you all

or any after math flames are wrong in your logic or what you have heard/read .I'm saying ( if I didn't my bad ) that with the age and weight of younger snappers and the other species it is not of severe injury to pick them up this way to control. I 've seen the best of the best do this of the herpetological field in years past. True that I WOULD never do this to a larger or weightier specimen but i have seen it done with absolutely no severe consequences even on them. And for the fact as previously posted in my behalf....several specimens that I used this pick up and control method I had for over 12 years with one being 20 years in my captive care. sooooo.......
Old 05-31-2006, 05:18 PM   #7
I have never found in any book that the correct way to handle snappers is by the tail. In fact, in all my books and all my research I have found that this damages the turtle INCLUDING common snappers and alligator snappers (it damages the vertebra). I have great knowlege of the heartiness of this species and have been around and dealing with snappers since I was a child.
Some people that agree with me are:

www.chelydra.org <-- has a page on handling snapping turtles and specifically notes that it is harmful to the turtles vertebra when you pick them up by the tail. (It has pictures on the correct way to handle snapping turtles - you might want to check them out).

www.tortoise.org/archives/snapping.html <-- mentions that handling by tail is safer to the human but can severly harm the turtle

AND http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelydr...apping_turtles says
"It is a common misunderstanding that a snapping turtle may be picked up by its tail with no harm to the animal; however, this has a high chance of injuring the turtle."
Old 06-01-2006, 08:36 AM   #8
old guy
what ever other than re-read me

I'll continue my method as we will continue this debate/argument. NOT ! I'm not reading these links as to my true and tried/done practices. Maybe you're not understanding........i have never seen a snapper with results of handling this way with consequences , PERIOD ! I'm not saying it doesn't happen or can't happen. My holding and restraining method last what, every bit of under 1 minute unless moving the species off of roadway. Maybe this is an age factor of doing this between your age and mine in the way of MY experience ? I think so ! Again > i have NEVER seen a injury caused from holding a snapper by the tail for any short time period in all of my 57 years. I also fear the aggressiveness of snappers as to damage they can do to body digits. This is in concerns to my finger digit as I have seen what they can do on bite and or reflex attempted bite. I say this even with me keeping venomous snakes. When I'm on roadway/pavement and I see a snapper, I'll be damn if I'm going to take the time to try to pin one down to correctly handle one in order to move it off of roadway. But the very next one I see, and it will be soon due to constant rain, I'll donate it to the turtle gods of having the chance ( and always see this ) of it getting hit and killed by vehicle in behalf of you all for trying to convince me that I will do more harm/damage by my ill way of handling/restriction. LOL ! OH does my under post profle fit me ! Another LOL !
Old 06-01-2006, 04:41 PM   #9
cool !!!!!!!!!!!
Old 06-02-2006, 02:58 PM   #10
Handling Snappers

Please refer to:

A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America Conant and Collins Peterson Field Guides Houghton Mifflin Company ISBN 0-395-90452-8 1998.

See Figure 1, pages 18 and 19. This is explicit as it gets.

Potential damage to the human or turtle notwithstanding, I find it hard to believe anyone with an interest in herps would not have at least one copy of this essential reference. Personally, I have all three editions. I met Roger Conant, and if there was anyone more passionate and knowledgeable about the health and well being of herps its news to me.

I believe that a live snapper off the road beats a squashed one on the road. Hence, I will continue to move such in the safest way possible to both them and me, which is by the tail.

Q: How do you tell an expert snapper handler from an experienced snapper handler?
A: He has all his fingers.

John D.

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