My friend Quin McGrael discovered this rather large snapping turtle suspended below an ice covered pond. The ability to endure such conditions for periods of time is characteristics of certain turtles given they can lower their metabolic rate and derive oxygen through specialized sacs found in their vents.
Snappin turtles are considered a game animal in Virginia. Many are harvested each year as a food source. However their has been documented evidence that these animals do bio-accumulate pollutants and heavy metals such as mercury in their fatty tissues which would lead one to think twice about eating them.
Twenty years ago a snapping turtle like this one went for the property owners dog while it swam in the pond. The turtle clamped its jaws down on the dogs paw and tried to pull it below the surface. the property owner saw what was happening and was able to rescue his pet. To this day the owner does not have much affection for these turtles