Musk Turtle

Musk Turtle

Musk Turtle
Sternotherus odoratus


CLASS
Reptilia
ORDER
Testudines
FAMILY
Kinosternidae

Range

Southeastern Canada; eastern and midwestern United States, south through Texas


Habitat

Rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, swamps


Diet

Earthworms, snails, clams, crayfish, crabs, insects, tadpoles, fish, fish eggs, and plant material

Weight

1 - 2 lbs .

Shell

3 to 5.3 in.

Incubation

60 - 85 days

Clutch

1-9 eggs

IUCN Status

Least Concern

Facts

  • Its small tongue is covered with tiny, specialized bumps, which are cell called papillae. These cells allow the turtle to draw in oxygen so it can breath underwater.
  • It can spray a foul-smelling, yellowish fluid from two pairs of musk glands when disturbed. The odor is so vile it has earned this turtle the nickname "stinkpot."
  • Since they are generally nocturnal (active at night), they spend the daytime hours resting on the water bottom.
  • Some of these turtles spend so much time underwater, their shells are often covered with algae and leeches.
  • Though highly aquatic, or water dwelling, musk turtles are excellent climbers that will leave the water from time to time to bask in trees and bushes.

 

Conservation

Common throughout its range.

Least Concern

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

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