Animals / Reptiles / Turtles - The Reptiles with Big Shells / Stinkpot - Little Turtle with a Big Stench

Stinkpot - Little Turtle with a Big Stench

open mouth


The stinkpot is a turtle that releases a nasty smelling odor or musk from glads located underneath its shell. These unassuming nondescript little guys unleash a powerful stench from the oozing fluid that can be enough to trigger the urge to vomit. The olfactory offensive is used as a defensive measure to keep predators at bay. If that doesn't deter enemies, the turtle still has its shell and can deliver a pretty mean bite to those who dare to get too close. All this is perhaps necessary for a rather small turtle, only growing to be 5 inches (13 cm) max. They can be black, brown or grey and have little else in the way of distinguishing markings besides the yellow or green stripes on their necks.



hatching stink potter




The stinkpots spend there days in slow-flowing streams, and muddy ponds and lakes in the South-eastern US and as far north as Canada. The will feed day or night on insects, mollusks, frogs, worms, plants and even carrion. They use their sensitive barbels (skin flaps sticking out from their chins) to feel the movements of prey mucking around in the mud. A thick ridge on the upper jaw is strong enough to crush the shells of snails and other prey; Then they can swallow whatever else remains. They usually take their time moving about but can move quickly to seize prey. They also possess some decent claws that they know how to use.


round shell


The female leaves the muddy waters to lay her eggs under plant matter or under tree stumps. For this reason, the species is vulnerable to habitat destruction as the natural shorelines in their range have been developed. Of all turtles the stinkpot has the very tiniest of eggs – 1.5 by 2.5 cm. They generally live in their 30s and as long as 50 years.


stinker potter




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