The snapping turtles are famous for their appetite.They eat a lot and they become big soon,
especially in captivity.
The most intense growth rate is observed in young snapping turtles.
An average common snapper will become about 5 to 6 inches ( 12 to 15 cm ) in shell length by about 2 years of age.
Then the size gain slows down a bit, but its steady growth brings the snappers to about 12 to
14 inches ( 30 to 35 cm ) in 15 to 20 years.
The size of a snapping turtle or any turtle is not determined by age alone. Some snappers,
kept in the same environment, will grow faster than others. As an example, one of my captive
common snapping turtles reached 5 inches ( 12 cm ) in 1 year, but another specimen from the same tank
just 3.5 inches ( 8 cm ) in the same amount of time. After 2 years the larger turtle was 6.5 inches
( 16 cm ) and the smaller was 5.5 inches ( 13.5 ).
It is said they can reach up to 19 inches ( 45 cm ) in shell length and weigh
up to 86 pounds ( 39 kg ) ( 1979, Pritchard Enc. of turtles ). It seems that the
Florida snapping turtle - Chelydra serpentina osceola - grows slightly larger then
the other species in this group.