musk turtle

noun
any of several aquatic turtles of the genus Sternotherus, of North America, which, when disturbed, emit a musky secretion.

Origin:
1865–70, Americanism; so called from its musky smell

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To musk turtle
Collins
World English Dictionary
musk turtle
 
n
any of several small turtles of the genus Sternotherus, esp S. odoratus (common musk turtle or stinkpot), that emit a strong unpleasant odour: family Kinosternidae

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

musk turtle

(genus Sternotherus), any of four species of small freshwater turtles belonging to the family Kinosternidae. Musk turtles are named for the strong, musky odour they emit when disturbed. They are found in eastern North America, usually in slow-moving waters. Highly aquatic animals, they seldom emerge onto land. Similar to small snapping turtles in appearance and pugnacious temperament, musk turtles are characterized by a small lower shell and by small, fleshy barbels on the chin. Their upper shell is oval, dull in colour, and usually about 8-13 cm (3-5 inches) long.

Learn more about musk turtle with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The turtle species include snapping turtle, common musk turtle, painted turtle and common map turtle.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;