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musk turtle

noun
1.
any of several aquatic turtles of the genus Sternotherus, of North America, which, when disturbed, emit a musky secretion.
Origin
1865-1870
1865-70, Americanism; so called from its musky smell
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for musk-turtle

musk turtle

noun
1.
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for musk-turtle

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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