Are these bite marks from a snapping turtle?

Posted By on August 30, 2009

EFE Cable bitten

Some kind of  hungry varmint has been biting through an aerator cable in the lake in front of my house. We dredged it up today and replace it with a new cable, but a second thought has me thinking we need to invest in about 200 feet of conduit? The electrician believes the damage is from a snapping turtle due to the depth of the cable in the smelly muck, but I’m still suspecting muskrats. Any experts?

Aerator Cabling


  • buck reimer

    Look at the jaw of a snaping turtle, don’t think they will match what yhou have. I appears you have two mark suggesting two teeth close together and flat; look at the jaws of a rat… buck

  • Rich

    Thanks Buck … I’m still thinking muskrat.In any case, we’re going to add conduit to the 200 ft cable. Thanks.

  • Kaitlin

    Check this out! You would definitely find this interesting after reading what you’ve written. This post was really interesting!

  • DC

    I know this is an old post but I stumbled on through and thought I’d reply and agree with you and Buck. Looks like two incisor marks with every bite.  While not ruling out snapper entirely, from the gnawing on the second photo, it’s screaming rodent, to me. Snappers lunge and may take out chunks while trying to feed so this close pattern of gnawing would seem unusual from them. I’d expect more wild marking with a lot of < shaped cuts all along the area. Muskrats on the other hand are big gnawers and love to eat underwater tubers of waterlilies and lotuses and could have mistaken the cable for one such plant. I hope the conduit helped with your problem!

    • Thanks for the information. I’m not sure if the conduit worked or didn’t work … but the aerator has been off and isn’t working. I suspect you were correct about the muskrats.

      • William Dieke

        A big alligator snapper would probably be good to have in that pond 😉 to eat the muskrats.

        • Well we have them big enough to gobble up all the ducklings each year, but unfortunately not big enough to finish off the muskrats! Thanks.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.