Matamata Turtle

The Matamata or ‘I kill, I kill’ as it is translated in Spanish is known to live in parts of the Amazon, Brazil and Trinidad.

The Matamata is a master of camouflage in its river-bed environment, it will lay in wait expertly camouflaged by the dark brown colouring of its shell, coupled with the roughness of its head and shell which very much resembles a rough rocky depiction. The Matamata will wait patently, utilising its long snout to breathe whilst almost completely submerged.

The Matamata has extremely sensitive flaps of skin on its head and neck which are used to detect prey, once in range the Matamata will open its wide mouth and thrust at the prey creating a gush of water that brings the prey into its jaws, the Matamata will then proceed to spray the water back out and devour its prey.

The Matamata’s eyes are situated near the end of its snout and are of little use for hunting. Usually dark brown/black is the colour of its shell however Matamata young are a lighter brown.

The Maramata become sexually mature around 5 years old, the male Maramata is more slender than the female and has a longer tail, females being the bigger of the species.


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