Giant face-eating turtle blogging

The Shape of Days links to a post on Powerline about a certain reptilian visitor of unusual size — a snapping turtle that he likens to a tank….

Once quite a while ago (in the Old Days before blogs and digital cameras) we had a big old snapper in my parents’ yard. John at Powerline described his snapper in the picture as a foot and a half long from head to tail. This sucker’s _shell_ was at least that long — it was a real whopper. (I would estimate two to two and a half feet with its neck out).

We discovered it because we let the dogs out (three yellow labs weighing in at up to 70-100 pounds each), and they immediately made a beeline for it, barking ferociously. Those dogs may’ve been stupid, but they were no dummies — the circled the thing and barked at it, but kept out of range of its head.

The really creepy thing was when it would rear its head up. You think of turtles as having these stubby little necks, but this guy would stretch it out quite a ways and Hhiiiiiiissssssssssss like a snake — jaws wide open.

I was not at all worried about what the dogs might do to the turtle — I was worried about one of the dogs losing an appendage (you know, like a foot, or their entire face back to the eyeballs or something).

So we pretty much had to body tackle the dogs as they raced past close enough to reach, and drag them back to the house. We kept them inside for a few hours and the turtle was long gone into the woods, never to be seen again.

(A couple years later I saw another huge one — crossing the road this time. Same guy? Who knows. We have a lot of ponds and small lakes in our area, which come with a correspondingly large turtle population.)

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