The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cub Club
The Stinky pot

Eet the stinky pot. The common musk turtle belongs to the order Chelonia. Chelonids have shells made up of modified scales and bones. The common musk turtle or Sternotherus odoratus is also called a stinky pot because it emits a strong-smelling fluid from its musk glands when in danger. Smart way to ward off prey! If you see a musk turtle, you will notice it has a high-arched, narrow carapace, which is brown or black in colour and often covered in algae. It has a pointed snout and two yellow stripes that mark either side of the head. They are found in the slow, shallow and muddy streams in the United States. The stinky pot eats carrion, insects, molluscs, and small amounts of fish and plants. They are mostly seen foraging at the bottom of water bodies. And all that without any teeth. Did you know that Chelonids have no teeth' Instead, they have horny beaks of varying strengths. The common musk turtle varies in size from eight to 13cm. It is a highly aquatic species, rarely found far from water.

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