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Chelydra serpentina is found from the eastern borders of the continental United States and throughout the midwest to the Rocky Mountains. Numerous populations are also found in Canada. The Common Snapping Turtle can also be found in Mexico, some of Central America, and also parts of northern South America. The map below shows the range in which Chelydra serpentina can be found in the Americas. The black area denotes where populations have been found.

This picture was copied out of Turtles & Tortoises of the World.

We now know where Chelydra serpentina is found geographically, but where are common snapping turtles found within these areas? The common snapping turtle can often be found in calm fresh water areas. Chelydra serpentina are typically not the best swimmers and they can not fight strong currents well. Plus there large body is not really streamlined like other turtles so they get caught by currents more than other turtles. These turtles prefer cloudy, muddy waters for the reason of concealment from predators. This is especially important for the juvenile turtles. These snapping turtles also have been known to bury themselves in mud as a form of camouflage in order to ambush their prey. Chelydra serpentina also generally choose waters with dense aquatic vegetation. They do this for two reasons; one being that they use the vegetation for concealment just like the muddy water and the second reason is because vegetation makes up a large part of their diet. Most of the turtles life is spent under water. They can do this based on their lung capacity and also through the adaptation of anal gills. Although this is true the Chelydra serpentina does occasionally need to come to the top of the water to get air.