This youngster was crossing a limerock road last week just as I came around the bend.
This is the sharp end of a common snapping turtle ... best to avoid it with your digitation or any other dangly parts that you value.
If you are going to move a snapper off the road, finger placement is important, although it's a lot simpler than grabbing a live blue crab.
Snappers don't have much of a plastron. I guess they can forgo a little armor due to their normal snappiness. This one was pretty mellow and never snapped or did anything defensive.
See the hitchhiker in that photo above?
That earthworm cousin attached to the snapper is a leech.
Man, leeches SUCK!
Actually, leeches suck from both ends, but only one end sucks blood.
The posterior end just sucks for holding on.
The anterior end is the business end where a mouth that secretes an anticoagulant rasps into the skin and feeds.
It's extremely common to find leeches on turtles in Florida. In fact, it's so common, that if I had to go collect a bunch of leeches, I would start flipping turtles.
I'm sure he wanted to continue basking, but there would be other vehicles on this road on such a pretty weekend day, so I fiddled with mother nature by slipping him off the road and back into the water.
And then I proceeded on to my next turtle encounter ...