Turtle vs. Porcupine - Video!

Another example of how social media and citizen science can add to our knowledge of the natural world... Below is a video that was recorded by Dana and Elaine Hilmer while out kayaking in Wisconsin. The video was subsequently posted to the Wisconsin Naturalists Facebook Group where Dr. Gary Casper and I were first made aware of the observation.

Common Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are large omnivorous freshwater turtles, and are known to both scavenge and actively hunt for prey. They have only rarely been documented preying upon relatively large mammals (e.g., muskrats), and large birds (e.g., young swans).

North American Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) are reported to have few natural predators, but Common Snapping Turtles must now be added to that list thanks to the documentation of Dana and Elaine Hilmer's observation.

Video link: http://youtu.be/WMbPIS5tulw

With permission from the observers, Dr. Casper and I published this observation in Herpetological Review in 2015.


Smith, Christopher E., and Gary S. Casper. 2015. Chelydra serpentina (Snapping Turtle): Hunting Behavior. Herpetological Review, 46:241-242.

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