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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Common Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)




Common Musk Turtle | Sternotherus odoratus photo
Common Musk Turtle

Photograph by Dawson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Common Musk Turtle | Sternotherus odoratus photo
Common Musk Turtle

Photograph by Ltshears. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

COMMON MUSK TURTLE FACTS

Description
The Common Musk Turtle is black, grey or brown with a high domed shell. They have long necks and short legs. Males have longer tails. The head has yellow-green striping from the tip of their nose to their neck. The snout is pointed with a sharp beak. The carapace is often covered with algae.

Other Names
Stinkpot

Size
carapace length 10cm

Environment
Common Musk turtles are aquatic, spending most of their time in shallow creeks or ponds. They prefer slow moving water with heavy vegetation. They only move onto land for nesting or sometimes to bask.

Food
plants, mollusks, small fish, insects, carrion. It gathers food by foraging on the muddy bottom of streams or ponds.

Breeding
Breeding takes place in spring. Females lay a clutch of 2 - 9 elliptical hard-shelled eggs in a shallow burrow or under debris on the shore. The young hatch in late summer or early fall. Common Mask Turtles can live to 50 years of age.

Range
The Common Musk Turtle is found in southern Ontario and southern Quebec in Canada in. It is also found in the eastern United States from southern Maine to Florida, and west to central Texas.

Notes
The Common Musk Turtle is kept as a pet turtle. Wild-caught turtles and captive-bred turtles are available. They readily accept commercial prepared turtle food, and will eat insects such as crickets and also mealworms and earthworms.

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Testudines
Family:Kinosternidae
Genus:Sternotherus
Species:odoratus
Common Name:Common Musk Turtle


Relatives in same Genus
  Razorback Musk Turtle (S. carinatus)
  Flattened Musk Turtle (S. depressus)