Don’t call me a stinkpot lol! It’s turtle time for today’s Wildlife Wednesday from your Ohio Division of Wildlife as we spotlight the eastern musk turtle.
Musk turtles, also known as “stinkpots” are small aquatic turtles and the only musk turtle found in northern states. Their most distinctive marks of identification are the two bright yellow stripes on each side of the head and sensory barbels on the side of the head and neck. These turtles get their name from the foul odor they expel when first caught. This odor comes from a yellowish fluid secreted by two gland openings on either side of the carapace (the upper shell).
Musk turtles seem to prefer deep, still water in lakes, ponds, and sluggish streams with muddy bottoms and an abundance of plant life. Like snapping turtles, musk turtles are strongly aquatic and are seldom observed out of water except to lay eggs, or occasionally during early spring to bask in the sun.
For more info on reptiles, download our Reptiles of Ohio Field Guide at https://ohiodnr.gov/…/Pub%205354_Reptiles%20of%20Ohio…. Ohio Department of Education #WildOhio