Common Musk Turtle

Sternotherus odoratus

Common Musk Turtle Musk Turtle
Photo by Robert Rold Photography Photo by Eric Williams
Musk Turtle
Photo by Eric Williams
Description:  The Musk Turtle ranges in size from 2-4.5 inches.  The carapace (upper shell) is brown to black and without a keel in adults (juveniles have a keel).  The head has two yellow stripes and barbels on chin and throat.  The plastron has 11 scutes and ranges in color from brown to yellow.

Habitat:  Found in a variety of aquatic habitats, especially those with soft bottoms.

Behavior:  Also known as the Stinkpot given its habit of releasing a smelly substance when disturbed.  Musk Turtles will often bask several feet over water on horizontal branches of leaning trees.

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