Snapping Turtle Closeup

Snapping Turtle - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma

Snapping Turtle - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma

This Snapping Turtle was crossing the tour road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I was able to jump out my pickup and get a few closeup photos.

I know this photo makes it look like I am close to this Turtle, but I am about 10 to 12 feet away with the lens I was using.

This Snapping Turtle came out of the River and was crossing the road to get to an area that is called Tuff Pond.

These Turtle should not to be messed with when they are out of the water. They have a very powerful beak-like jaw, and highly mobile head and neck. Its neck is very flexible, and a these turtles can bite even if picked up by the sides of its shell. You don't want to try to move them from the road.

While it's widely rumored that common snapping turtles can bite off human fingers or toes, and their powerful jaws are more than capable of doing so, there have been no documented cases of unprovoked injuries caused by this species, with almost all incidents being a result of mishandling or self-defense. When underwater and undisturbed, common snapping turtles are "quite docile" animals that prefer to avoid confrontations rather than provoke them. In 2002, a study done in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology found that the Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) registered between 208 and 226 Newtons of force when it came to jaw strength. In comparison, the average bite force of a human (molars area) is between 300 and 700 Newtons. Another non-closely related species known as the Alligator snapping turtle has been known to bite off fingers, and at least 3 documented cases are known. (Source: Wikipedia)

Notice the tubercles on its chin! A tubercle is any round nodule, small eminence, or warty outgrowth.

How I Got The Shot - Snapping Turtle

Like I mentioned above, I drove up on this Turtle crossing the tour road. I parked a short distance and exited my pickup to get this photo.

I was hand holding my Canon EOS 7D Mark II with the Canon EF 100 - 400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/1600 of a second at f5.6 and the ISO at 250. I had a -.03 Exposure Value. White Balance was set on auto. I was using single point, continuous auto focus with evaluative metering.

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