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(mud turtles), a family of reptiles of the order Cryptodira. The shell is 10–40 cm long. There are four genera, embracing 21 species. Mud turtles are distributed from southeastern Canada to northern Chile. In the genus Kinosternon the anterior and, sometimes, the posterior section of the plastron are movable; in some species the shell can close entirely. In the genera Staurotypus and Claudius the plastron is cruciform and barely covers the underside of the body. Members of the genus Sternotherus (musk turtles) have glands that produce a strongsmelling secretion. Mud turtles inhabit freshwaters and enter shallow oceanic bays. They feed on fish, invertebrates, and—less commonly—carrion. Eggs are laid on dry land, usually in a hole.