The turtle featured this week is the Eastern musk turtle otherwise known as the Stinkpot turtle (Sternotherus odoratus). The Stinkpot turtle is one of Ontario’s species at risk. It is one of the smallest turtles found in Ontario. It’s habitat range is from Southern Ontario up to Georgian Bay. This elusive little turtle species spends most of its time in the water and prefers shallow water with soft substrate and little to no current. Although they spend almost all of their time in the water they are not very good swimmers and prefer to walk/crawl along the bottom.
Because turtles are ectothermic (cold blooded) they use the sun or air to increase their body temperature. Instead of basking in the sun on land like many other turtle species the Stinkpot prefers to bask a few centimetres under the water’s surface. A by-product of sunning so close to the water’s surface is the amount of algae that grows on the shell of this turtle. This algae can aid the turtle in camouflaging against predators within an aquatic ecosystem.
To learn more and join the Turtle Guardian Program visit www.turtleguardians.com
Full article from HHLPOA Board Member Debbie Balika is attached The sweet little Stinkpot turtle HHLPOA 0626_02