; order Chelonia, suborder Cryptodira)
A family of freshwater turtles in which the smooth or keeled carapace may be separate from the plastron, which may be large and hinged to enclose the animal, or reduced. Some species produce evil-smelling secretions from cloacal glands. Sternotherus odoratus (stinkpot or common musk turtle) derives its common name from its cloacal secretions; it grows to 14 cm, lives on the bottom of ponds and sluggish streams, and is rarely seen on land. There are 20 species in the family, occurring in the New World.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.