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Mud and musk turtles are a family of about 23 species of turtles, all of which are found in North and South America. When they are handled these turtles release a foul smelling, musky odor - which gives them their common name. They are found mainly in slow-moving bodies of water with lots of vegetation. They are all carnivorous, eating crustaceans, aquatic insects, molluscs, annelid worms, amphibians, and small fish.


Tanya Dewey (author), Animal Diversity Web.


bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends.


animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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Dewey, T. . "Kinosternidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 20, 2014 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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