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Turtle (Stinkpot) or Common Musk Turtle

Sternotherus odoratus
Stinkpot turtle or Common Musk Turtle

Range

They are found in Eastern North America from Ontario to Florida and west to Texas and the Great Lakes region.

Habitat

They live in shallow wetlands: lakes, ponds, slow-moving streams and rivers.

Body Traits

They are small turtles with a dark, domed shell or carapace that is about 3-5 inches long. They have a dark head with two yellow lines that run above and below the eye to the tip of the nose. The lines are more visible in younger turtles. They have small, fleshing spikes (barbels) under the chin and throat. Males are larger. The underneath part of the shell (plastron) is small.

Habits

They are active at night (nocturnal), so are not seen basking in the sun like other turtle species. They excrete a foul smelling, orange fluid from chest glands (at the edge of the plastron) when startled. They also may bite when threatened.

Diet

They eat water insects, crayfish, snails, slugs, tadpoles, and other invertebrates and spme plant matter. They are omnivores.

Predators

They are eaten by raccoons.

Reproduction

Females may lay two batches (clutches) of eggs – one in the fall and one in the spring. They lay up to 9 eggs under the leaf litter on the forest floor near their wetland.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

They are threatened by habitat loss. Scientists believe that they can live up to 50 years.

Related Links

Color a Stinkpot Turtle

Stinkpot turtle or Common Musk Turtle

Citing Research References

When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).

When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.

Here is an example of citing this page:

Amsel, Sheri. "Turtle (Stinkpot) or Common Musk Turtle" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2018. October 22, 2018
< http://www.exploringnature.org/db/view/Turtle-Stinkpot-or-Common-Musk-Turtle >

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