Matamata Turtle Species Discovered In The Amazon Rainforest

A recent study was conducted reporting that a new species of matamata turtle based on a genetic analysis has been discovered. The study was conducted by an international team led by Senckenberg scientist Mr. Uwe Fitz. These turtle species are so rare to spot or discover as they originate from the Amazon and Orinoco basins located in the South of America. They are split into different types of species as the ones in the Orinoco river are completely different from the ones in the Amazon Basin.

The most conspicuous feature of a matamata turtle is its carapace, also most often called its shell. It also has a long neck that is wide, flat and covered in skin fringes, warts and ridges. Some more features of this rare turtle are its triangular head with its eyes nested on the sides of it.

A rare turtle species in the amazon rainforest
Image Credits: Pinterest

The matamata turtle species are known to have very weak eyesight but are gifted with a variety of sensory aids that help them sense movement in their habitats. However, one weakness of these aquatic species is that they are not well adapted to swimming.

A 'matamata' turtle species on top of a rock
Image Credits: Pinterest

Though these turtle species looks kind of cute, they do not look so cute as we see from our own eyes. These aquatic animals are known to be vicious. They also are excellent at hunting, and wait for dinner to arrive at their feet. As the prey reaches the turtle, it would open its mouth wide and create a vacuum-like mouth to draw in its meal.

A green forest captured above the forest at a sunset
Image Credits: Pexels

A grown matamata weighs approximately 17.2 kilograms (38 pounds) which is the average weight of a grown 4-year-old child. Its shell can grow at least 1.5 feet (nearly 45 cm). Female turtles usually start their nesting season in October throughout the month of December. Nests are built at the edge of forests and they lay 12 to 28 eggs with 200 days of a long period of incubation.

So, what do you think of these rare creatures?


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