Narrow-bridged musk turtle

Narrow-bridged musk turtle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Kinosternoidea
Family: Kinosternidae
Subfamily: Staurotypinae[1]
Genus: Claudius
Cope, 1865
Species: C. angustatus
Binomial name
Claudius angustatus
Cope, 1865[1]
  • Claudius angustatus Cope, 1865
  • Claudius megalocephalus Bocourt, 1868
  • Claudius macrocephalus Gray, 1868
  • Claudius megacephalus Boulenger, 1889 (ex errore)
  • Claudias angustatus Velasco, 1892
  • Claudius agassizii Smith & Taylor, 1950 (nomen nudum)
  • Claudius angustatum Sullivan & Rigs, 1967

The narrow-bridged musk turtle (Claudius angustatus) is a species in the family Kinosternidae found in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.[1] As of 2010, it is the only recognised extant species in the genus Claudius.[1]


Narrow-bridged musk turtles are typically brown in color. Their scutes have lines and graining that make them almost appear wood-like. They often have bright-yellow markings on the edges of their carapaces. As they age, algae often heavily cover their shells, masking their patterning and coloration. Their heads are large and bulbous for their size, with long necks and sharp beaks. Their shells are domed, with three distinct ridges down the length. Though classified in the subfamily Staurotypinae with the "giant" musk turtles, narrow-bridged musk turtles generally only grow to about 6.5 in (16.5 cm) in length.


Like all musk turtles, narrow-bridged musk turtles are almost entirely aquatic, and prefer habitats such as slow-moving creeks, or shallow ponds that are heavily vegetated. They spend much of their time walking along the bottom, foraging for aquatic insects and other invertebrates, and carrion. They have glands under the rear of their shells which they can use to release a foul-smelling musk, hence their common name.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Rhodin, Anders G.J.; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Inverson, John B.; Shaffer, H. Bradley (2010-12-14). "Turtles of the world, 2010 update: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution and conservation status". Chelonian Research Monographs. 5: 000.98. doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v3.2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-15.
  2. Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World". Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 249–250. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012.

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