mud turtle

any of several small, freshwater turtles of the family Kinosternidae, of North and South America, as the dark-brown Kinosternon subrubrum, of the U.S.
[1775-85, Amer.]

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 any of about 18 species of semiterrestrial freshwater turtles (turtle) belonging to the family Kinosternidae. Mud turtles are found in North and South America from New England to northern Argentina. Like the related musk turtles (musk turtle) (Sternotherus), they are small animals (usually 15 cm [6 inches] or less in shell length) with fleshy barbels on the chin and the ability to exude a strong, musky odour. They differ from musk turtles by having a broad lower shell with a hinged section at either end. The hinged portions of the shells of some species can be pulled up to cover and protect the head, legs, and tail of the turtle.

      Mud turtles occur in a variety of habitats that range from clear forest brooks to intermittent desert streams and ponds. Although highly aquatic in many respects—feeding is almost exclusively so—they are generally poor swimmers and instead prefer to walk along the bottoms of ponds and streams. In addition, some species, such as the striped mud turtle (K. baurii), survive drought periods through estivation ( dormancy) under a shallow layer of mud.

      Mud turtles are omnivores (omnivore) with a preference for animal matter, such as arthropods (arthropod), worms (worm), small fishes (fish), and fish eggs (egg). The clutch sizes of mud turtles vary from a single egg to nearly a dozen, depending on the female's size and health.

George R. Zug

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mud turtle — Mud Turtle, Kinosternon subrubrum Mud turtle Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Mud turtle — Mud Mud (m[u^]d), n. [Akin to LG. mudde, D. modder, G. moder mold, OSw. modd mud, Sw. modder mother, Dan. mudder mud. Cf. {Mother} a scum on liquors.] Earth and water mixed so as to be soft and adhesive. [1913 Webster] {Mud bass} (Zo[ o]l.), a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mud turtle — ☆ mud turtle n. any of a genus (Kinosternon) of musk turtles of North and Central America that live in muddy ponds, streams, etc …   English World dictionary

  • mud turtle — Snapping Snap ping, a. & n. from {Snap}, v. [1913 Webster] {Snapping beetle}. (Zo[ o]l.) See {Snap beetle}, under {Snap}. {Snapping turtle}. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) A large and voracious aquatic turtle ({Chelydra serpentina}) common in the fresh waters of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mud turtle — Trionyx Tri*on yx, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ? (see {Tri }) + ? a claw.] (Zo[ o]l.) A genus of fresh water or river turtles which have the shell imperfectly developed and covered with a soft leathery skin. They are noted for their agility and rapacity.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mud turtle — mud′ tur tle n. ram any of several small freshwater turtles of the family Kinosternidae, of North and South America, characterized by two transverse hinges on the lower shell • Etymology: 1775–85, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • mud turtle — n. small freshwater turtle native to North and Central America that dwells in mud at the bottom of ponds and streams …   English contemporary dictionary

  • mud turtle — noun bottom dwelling freshwater turtle inhabiting muddy rivers of North America and Central America • Hypernyms: ↑turtle • Hyponyms: ↑musk turtle, ↑stinkpot • Member Holonyms: ↑Kinosternon, ↑genus Kinosternon …   Useful english dictionary

  • mud-turtle — n. Marsh tortoise, mud terrapin (Sternothoerus odoratus) …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • mud turtle — /ˈmʌd tɜtl/ (say mud tertl) noun any of various freshwater turtles of North America, as Kinosternon subrubrum, or Chrysemys picta …   Australian English dictionary

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