Read Caption
Photo copyright Carl Zimmer

When Baby Snapping Turtles Reach the Edge of the World

Despite living in the carotid artery of Northeast traffic, I still share my property with a particularly prehistoric kind of wildlife. Each spring, monstrous snapping turtles emerge from the salt marshes and rip up our garden to lay eggs. Then in late summer the baby turtles hatch and crawl out of the mulch to head for the water again.

This was the scene outside our front door (I highly recommend setting the movie to full-screen). The baby snapping turtles, each the size of a jumbo chicken egg, crawled to the light one by one and clambered onto our stone steps. As this video demonstrates, baby snapping turtles deal with these unexpected situations without much hesitation. They climb to the edge of their world and keep going.