Matamata

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.



 

Barbour’s map turtle

The Barbour’s map turtle lives in clear flowing rivers found in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Often spotted basking in the sun on top of rocks and snags, the turtle will dive into the water when threatened. In this turtle species, females grow to more than double the size of males.

Blue Spiny Lizard

Closely related to the iguana, the blue spiny lizard sports sharp, pointy scales for defense. It also relies on camouflage to keep from being seen. When it’s time to win a mate, however, males will show off their blue throats and underbellies.

Puff Adder

The most common and widespread venomous snake in Africa, the puff adder is responsible for the majority of snake bites on the continent. Sitting motionless and camouflaged on the ground, the puff adder is often not seen until stepped on. Inch-long fangs deliver enough venom to kill a man with a single bite.

Ornate Monitor

The ornate monitor pretty much eats whatever it can catch, or in the case of carrion, whatever it can sniff out. Sometimes two monitors will team up to make a meal. One distracts a mother crocodile or bird from its nest, while the other robs the nest of its eggs.

Boa Constrictor

Thanks to the coloration and pattern of its body, the boa constrictor is barely distinguishable from the forest floor.  Here it sits and waits for the opportunity to ambush unsuspecting prey. Striking and seizing prey in its jaws, the boa then quickly wraps its body around its prey to suffocate it and then swallows it whole.

Rainbow Boa

Though it will climb trees to escape danger, the rainbow boa spends most of its time on the ground.  Slinking about at night, its heat-sensing pits enable it to locate warm-blooded prey through temperature differentiation.  The boa subdues its prey through suffocation, constricting it with its body, and then swallows it whole.

California King Snake

King snakes are considered the king of snakes for their habit of eating other snakes, including rattlesnakes.  Rattlesnake venom has little effect on them.  The California king snake is primarily active during the day, yet will switch to night hunting as temperatures rise.

White-throated Monitor

The white-throated monitor spends its day patrolling the savanna, seeking out small animals with its scent-detecting tongue. During the hottest part of the day, it shades itself under tree roots or uses its strong claws to dig out a resting den. If threatened, the monitor puffs up its body and lashes with its powerful tail.

Green Tree Python

The most arboreal of the pythons, the green tree python rests in a coil on a tree branch with its head hanging down, ready to strike at prey. It may also attract prey by imitating a worm as it wiggles the tip of its tail. The python has especially long front teeth to catch and grasp prey. After constricting its prey, the python swallows it whole.