Human Interaction

Top 10 Weird Turtle Facts

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There's A Turtle That Seems Part Skunk

The African helmeted turtle, Pelomedusa subrufa, is the most widespread turtle species in Africa. It's found just about everywhere south of the Sahara desert. It's a hunter-scavenger that hunts in packs and seems happy to eat most anything, from parasites lodged in the skin of rhinoceroses to young birds and small mammals, according to Turtles of the World. It attacks ducklings by dragging them underwater, and steals bait from anglers' hooks, habits which make it disliked by many Africans.

But the helmeted turtle's reputation is not just odious, but odorous as well. It smells really, really awful. That aroma comes from four glands, one under each leg, which release a foul-smelling liquid seems to repulse horses as well as humans, according to the International Wildlife Encyclopedia. Despite that unpleasant odor, villagers sometimes dig up the turtles from their mud nests during wet season for food. However, the smelly shelled creatures don't have enough meat on them to make a very satisfying meal, according to Turtles of the World.

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