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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Flattened Musk Turtle (Sternotherus depressus)




Flattened Musk Turtle | Sternotherus depressus photo
Flattened Musk Turtle

Photograph by United States Geological Survey. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

FLATTENED MUSK TURTLE FACTS

Description
The Flattened Musk Turtle has a much flatter carapace than other Musk Turtles. The top of the carapace is brown and the underside (plastron) is either pinkish or yellowish-brown. The head and neck are greenish with a pattern of dark lines. It has barbels (like small spikes) on the chin. Males have a longer tail than females. They have scent glands under the rear of their shell, which can release a foul musky odor to deter predators.

Size
carapace length 7.5cm - 10cm

Environment
clear, shallow streams. Prefers rocky to sandy-bottomed streams

Food
The Flattened Musk Turtle eats invertebrates such as snails, insects and mussels.

Breeding
Females lays a small clutch of 2 - 4 (?) eggs in a shallow nest dug into the ground near the stream. Eggs are oblong with brittle shells and about 32mm long. The eggs hatch after 45 to 122 days. The hatchlings have a carapace length of about 26mm.

Range
only found in the Black Warrior River watershed above the Bankhead Dam, in Alabama.

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "vulnerable".

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


Relatives in same Genus
  Razorback Musk Turtle (S. carinatus)
  Common Musk Turtle (S. odoratus)