Matamata

Chelus fimbriatus

The matamata turtle sits camouflaged on the bottom of a stream and waits for an unsuspecting fish to swim by. Once a fish is within reach, the turtle thrusts its head forward, opens its mouth as wide as possible and sucks in the fish like a vacuum. The turtle swallows the fish whole.




 

Fact File

where to see themWhere to see them: Reptile House
lengthLength: Up to 1.3 ft
habitatHabitat: Shallow pools and streams
dietDiet: Fish