Snapping Turtle (chelydra serpentina, Schweig.; genus chelonura, Fleming), an American species of fresh-water chelonians, characterized by a large head, with both jaws strongly hooked and two barbels under the chin, short and pointed snout, the nostrils near together, and the eyes large, prominent, and far forward; the sternum is small, cruciform, immovable, and covered with twelve plates and three supplemental ones; the carapace oblong, depressed, more or less tricari-nated, deeply notched behind with three points on each side of the central notch; the neck long and thick, with a warty skin; tail very long, surmounted by a scaly or tuberculate! crest; the anterior limbs with five nails, the posterior with four; the skin of the limbs above and below scaly. The head may be in great part retracted within the shell, whence it can be very suddenly extended by the long and extensile neck, but the limbs and feet are mostly exposed. The shell is dusky above, and the lower parts yellowish; it attains a length of more than 4 ft. and a weight of 50 lbs.; it prefers sluggish and deep water in ponds or rivers, keeping principally at the bottom; it is very voracious, and feeds on fish, reptiles, and such aquatic birds as come within its reach, especially young ducks and goslings and wounded birds; it has been known to attack man, and is not unfrequently caught with hooks; its flesh is much esteemed for soups, though in the old animals it has a musky odor.
It goes far from water to deposit its eggs; though an excellent swimmer, it is awkward on land, walking slowly, with the head, neck, and tail extended, raised on the legs like an alligator, whence it is called by the negroes alligator cooter; it is very savage if attacked, raising itself with such quickness on its legs as to elevate the whole body from the ground and enable it to make considerable hops, snapping with great ferocity and quickness at any object coming within reach of its long neck; its bite is severe and tenacious. It is distributed from Maine to Georgia, and westward to the Mississippi, being replaced further west by the C. Temminckii (Troost; genus gypochelys, Ag.), characterized by a larger triangular head, rougher shell, and neck and limbs covered with spiny warts. In the northern states it lays its eggs, 20 to 40, between June 10 and 25, generally in the forenoon, and in captivity a month later; it excavates a hole at first directly down and then laterally, so that the widest part, where the nest is, is on one side; sometimes several holes are dug, before one is found to suit; the females lose their shyness at this time, and smooth the earth over with care after the eggs are deposited. - In some parts of the country, the soft-shelled turtles (trionycidoe) are called snapping turtles.
The eggs in these species are nearly globular, about an inch in diameter, white, and with hard shells. SNEEZING, a modification of the ordinary respiratory movements, accompanied by a violent expiratory effort, sending forth a blast of air from the lungs intended to expel some irritating substance from the nasal air passages. It differs from coughing in the communication between the larynx and mouth being partly or wholly cut off by the drawing together of the sides of the soft palate over the back of the tongue, so that the blast of air, by a convulsive movement, passes through the nose with more or less noise instead of through the mouth. It may be excited by acrid vapors, irritating liquids or solids, diseased secretions, or the simple entrance of air when the Schnei-derian membrane is peculiarly irritable.
Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina).