Musk Turtle Facts for Kids

Common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) is a long-necked small turtle. It has a dark-gray to brown shade. Its shell is high and shaped like a dome. It has a triangle-shaped head with short legs. The yellowish-green streak goes all the way from its pointed head through the neck.

It can grow to a length of about 5.1 to 14 centimeters and weighs around 1.3 pounds. At birth, the length of hatchlings is less than 1 inch.

In captivity, these turtles have a lifespan of more than 50 years.

Mating season occurs in spring.

A female lays a clutch size of 9 eggs. The eggs are hatched in early fall or at the end of summer.

Common musk turtles are found in eastern U.S.A and southern Canadian cities of Ontario and Quebec. In the U.S., from Maine to the north and Florida to the south.

They spend most of their lives in shallow waters. These are aquatic turtles and so they come onshore only for the purpose of laying eggs. They are often found on marshlands and shallow waters with muddy bottom. They can climb up to a height of 6.6 feet on aquatic trunks of trees. In order to defend itself, common musk turtle releases a musky odor to scare away enemies.

Common musks are carnivorous animals and there is a wide variety of food on its menu. It likes to feed on carrion, tadpoles, clams of fresh water, crayfish, aquatic larvae and insects and invertebrates.

Other Names: Stinkpot, Common Musk Turtle, Eastern Musk Turtle

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