A prehistoric-looking animal with big claws and a rock-hard beak is probably not something you'd want near your face – especially when the word "snapping" forms part of the creature's name. This amateur golfer, however, appears to follow a different set of rules...

A video posted by Golf Gods (golf_gods) on

Natural selection in action, folks. 

Posted on the golf_gods Instagram account, the clip shows an unidentified golfer posing with a snapping turtle – which beautifully lives up to its name when it lunges right at the man's face with its sharp beak. (The animals can stretch their necks two-thirds of the length of their carapaces!)

It should go without saying that the rule of thumb when it comes to wild animals is "look with your eyes and not your hands", but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we repeat: just don’t touch them. 

Fearsome as they may look, snapping turtles are more likely to retreat from threatening situations before striking, but the golfer left this reptile little choice. Unlike most other turtle species, snappers can’t fully retract their heads into their shells. This leaves them exposed to predators, and it's thought that their quick-draw defence evolved to compensate. 

The animals spend most of their lives in the water, but females haul themselves onto dry land during nesting season (which falls in late spring to early summer). It's at this point, unsurprisingly, that the creatures are likely to encounter an unwanted lift or prod by a curious human. The animals are more than comfortable using that sharp beak as a last resort, and as you can see in the video, that’s not something you want to be on the receiving end of. 


Top header image: Bob Gutowski, Flickr