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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects
Flattened Musk Turtle (Sternotherus depressus)
Flattened Musk Turtle
Photograph by United States Geological Survey. License: Public Domain. (view image details)
FLATTENED MUSK TURTLE FACTSDescription
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.
carapace length 7.5cm - 10cm
clear, shallow streams. Prefers rocky to sandy-bottomed streams
The Flattened Musk Turtle eats invertebrates such as snails, insects and mussels.
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.
only found in the Black Warrior River watershed above the Bankhead Dam, in Alabama.
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "vulnerable".
Relatives in same Genus
Razorback Musk Turtle (S. carinatus)
Common Musk Turtle (S. odoratus)