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STINKPOT TURTLE

Scientific Name: Sternotherus odoratus
Order
Testudines (tortoises and turtles)

Family
Kinosternidae (mud and musk turtles)

Habitat & Range
Stinkpot turtles can be found in aquatic landscapes (swamps, ponds, lakes and streams) of southeastern Canada and the Eastern United States.

Identification
Common stinkpot turtles grow to about 4 inches long with a dark brown or black shell. Their skin is also dark brown to black, however the head has two yellow lines that run from the snout to the neck. Males have larger heads and longer tales than females.

Diet
Like most turtles, stinkpots are omnivores that feed on small insects, carrion, worms, snails, crayfish, and aquatic plants. They are considered generalists, which means they typically feed on anything they can catch.

Reproduction & Lifespan
Stinkpot turtles dig shallow nests under rotting logs or leaves. Mating occurs between February and June and takes place under water. Clutch size ranges from 1 to 9 eggs. Hatchlings emerge after 2 to 4 months of incubation.

Their lifespan ranges from 30 to 50 years.

Fantastic Fact
What’s in a Name?
Stinkpot turtles also go by the name common musk turtle. They are named for the foul smelling oil that they emit when threatened. The odor is typically successful in scaring off predators.

 
 
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