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Common musk turtle

Sternotherus oderatus


When I first saw this baby turtle on a walking path, I thought it was a nutshell. It is the smallest turtle I have seen and I'm guessing it was a new hatchling. The coin shown for size is a US quarter. This species is also called stinkpot, due to its ability to release a foul musky odor from scent glands on the edge of its shell, possibly to deter predation. When I moved the baby out of the walking path, it didn’t release an odor, possibly still having to learn this. Or it didn't feel threatened.


Hank Anderson Park

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SukanyaDatta 8 years ago

Cute. And thanks for moving it out of harm's way.

James McNair
James McNair 8 years ago

Adorable. Never heard of this type! Thank you Maria

armadeus.4 8 years ago

I know what you mean. I sure do I have never seen a hatchling turtle before and, as with most babies and adults, it never ceases to amaze me that something so big comes from something so tiny :D

Maria dB
Maria dB 8 years ago

I should have said that it was speculation on my part that it still might need to learn; I don't really know. I'd like to think it didn't feel threatened, too. Glad you enjoyed seeing it!

armadeus.4 8 years ago

It's a wee little turtle for sure! That's interesting that it may still have to learn...but I guess a lot of babies need to learn a lot of survival skills. I'd like to think it just didn't feel threatened :) Thank you for sharing!

Maria dB
Spotted by
Maria dB

North Carolina, USA

Spotted on Oct 24, 2015
Submitted on Oct 29, 2015

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