Mud Turtles

mud1Mud Turtles are small freshwater turtles that are not commonly found in North Carolina. They are approximately 4-6 inches long with a smooth olive to dark brown carapace or upper shell.  Distinguishing Mud Turtles from Musk Turtles is quite difficult.  Probably the best way to differentiate between the two is to look at their plastron or lower shell.  Both Mud and Musk Turtles have hinged plastrons to allow them to hide box up.  However, the Mud Turtle has a more prominent hinge compared to the Musk Turtle.  Additionally, the Mud Turtle’s scutes or the scale on their shell is more triangular whereas in the Musk Turtle, it is more trapezoid.