Kinosternidae – Mud turtles

Small but bitey! They can capture anything that gets close enough to their powerful jaws

When frightened, Musk turtles release a musky odor from glands, giving them their name. Their allies in this family, the Mud turtles, receive their name because they spend a lot of time in the mud.

The majority of the members of this family prefer lakes and ponds that are always covered in water and have motionless or slowly moving waters as their habitat. They live exclusively in North and Central America.

Despite spending most of their life in the water, American mud and musk turtles are average swimmers and move pretty slowly. Their popularity as pet turtles causes a decrease in natural populations.