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Musk Turtle

Sternotherus oderatus

Home > Turtles > Care Sheets


Musk Turtles are named for their 2 pairs of musk glands. This causes them to have a distinctive odor.

Natural Location: North America
Average Lifespan: 30 to 50 years with proper care.
Estimated Size: Up to 7"

Feeding & Water

Juvenile Musk Turtles feed primarily on small insects and are carnivorous. As they become older the start to feed on anything that is available causing them to become omnivorous. Common food for musk turtles includes worms, leeches, insects, minnows, tadpoles and frogs in addition to plant life.


Temperature, Lighting & Humidity

Musk Turtles that live in the northern states and Canada are forced to hibernate during the winter. Down south where it is warmer they are sometimes able to be active all year long. Normally temperature for your Musk Turtle should be in the 74 degrees F to 79 degrees F range. It is important to provide them with some sort of a temperature gradient within their enclosure so they can choose the optimal temperature. Water temperature should be between 70 degrees F and 77 degrees F.



An enclosure with dimensions of 24” x 18” x 12” should be sufficient for your Musk Turtle. It is important to frequently observe your turtle within its enclosure in order to better determine its preferences and environmental needs. Make adjustments slowly to not disturb them.


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