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Care Sheet: Common Musk Turtle

Common Musk Turtle

Common Musk Turtle

The common musk turtle is found in almost any waterway with a slow current and soft bottom. This includes rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, sloughs, canals, swamps, bayous, and oxbows. The fall line may limit the distribution of the musk turtle, which is found only above it in rivers draining into the Gulf of Mexico and they stay away from brackish waters.

Temperature and Humidity:
In Florida and south-central Texas, common musk turtles may be active all year long, but farther north, common musks are usually forced to hibernate in the winter. Their activity can vary geographically from about 200 days (April to October) in southeastern Pennsylvania to 330 days in Oklahoma due to the drops in temperature. Normal water temp should range between 70 – 78 degrees F.

Juvenile Common Musks are definetly carnivorous, feed mainly on small aquatic insects, algae, and carrion, whereas the adults feed on anything available, becoming omnivorous. The common musk is known to eat earthworms, leeches, clams, snails, crabs, crayfish, aquatic insects, fish eggs, minnows, tadpoles and adult frogs, algae, and parts of higher plants.

Cleanliness & Health:
Common Musk Turtles will deficate immediately before or after a meal, so it is a good practice to have a seperate food dish to feed them with. This will help keep the water cleaner.

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