Giant musk turtle

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Giant musk turtle
Staurotypus salvinii.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Kinosternidae
Subfamily: Staurotypinae
Genus: Staurotypus
Species: S. salvinii
Binomial name
Staurotypus salvinii
Gray, 1864
  • Staurotypus (Stauremys) salvinii
    Gray, 1864
  • Stauremys salvinii
    — Gray, 1870
  • Staurotypus marmoratus
    Fischer, 1872
  • Claudius severus
    Cope, 1872
  • Staurotypus (Claudius) severus
    Bocourt, 1876
  • Staurotypus salvini [sic]
    Günther, 1885 (ex errore)
  • Staurotypus biporcatus
    Gadow, 1905 (nomen nudum)
  • Staurotypus salvanii
    Beltrán, 1953 (ex errore)

The giant musk turtle (Staurotypus salvinii ) is a species of kinosternid turtle, which is endemic to Central America.

Geographic range[edit]

S. salvinii is found in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico (Chiapas and Oaxaca).


The specific name, salvinii, is in honor of English naturalist and herpetologist Osbert Salvin.[2]


S. salvinii are typically much larger than other species of Kinosternidae, attaining sizes of up to 36 cm (14 inches) carapace length, with males being significantly smaller than females. They are typically brown, black, or green in color, with a yellow underside. The carapace is distinguished by three distinct ridges, or keels which run its length.


Like other musk turtle species, S. salvinii is carnivorous, eating various types of aquatic invertebrates, as well as fish and carrion.


  1. ^ Fritz, Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 260–261. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Staurotypus salvinii, p. 232.)

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Gray JE (1864). "Description of a New Species of Staurotypus (S. salvinii ) from Guatemala". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1864: 127–128.