Recently, a study was done based on genetic analysis, and it reports that a new species of the matamata turtle has been discovered. Conducted by an international team, spearheaded by Senckenberg scientist Mr. Uwe Fitz, this study shows that as these species of turtles originate from the Orinoco and Amazon Basins in the South of America, they are so rare to spot. According to where they are found, in the Orinoco River or the Amazon Basin, the species can be split into different types.
The matamata turtle’s feature, which is most evident and noticeable, is its carapace, or as all of us know it, its shell. Unlike other turtles, makamaka turtles have a long, wide, and flat neck covered in warts, ridges, and fringes. Unlike other turtles, this rare turtle has a triangular head, with its eyes on its sides. Although these rare species are known to have very weak eyesight, they have been gifted with other sensory aids from which they can sense any movement in their habitat. However, even though these magnificent creatures are of the turtle family, one weakness that they have is that these turtles are not well adapted to swimming.
Even though this species looks cute, they are not as attractive as they seem, as they are known to be vicious. These creatures also make the most excellent hunters, as they lie and wait for the delicious dinner to come right up to their feet. The matamata turtle opens its mouth wide and creates a vacuum-like mouth as its prey reaches it.
A fully grown matamata turtle will weigh roughly 38 pounds, or 17.2 kilos, the average weight of a grown child of 4 years. The shell of a matamata turtle can also develop a good 1.5 meters (nearly 45 cm). The nesting season of these majestic animals usually starts in October through December. Matamata turtles build their nests at the edge of forests, and the females lay 12 to 28 eggs. These eggs have an incubation period of 200 days.
So, what are your thoughts on these rare, majestic creatures?