What is that?!

I asked Kent who is one of our keepers, what animal he liked that not many people knew about. The one that has a special place in Kent’s heart is a turtle, commonly called a Matamata. Matamata means “I kill” where as the scientific name of Chelus fimbriatus means “fringed turtle.” In the wild, the only place you will see these guys is if you go to the slower part of the streams and rivers of  South America. They feed on fish and invertebrates using stealth mode. As you can see the turtles shell is dark and not smooth like many other turtles and while resting on the bottom you might think this thing is a pile of rocks.It helps that is has a broad head and neck area containing fringes that move with the waters currents acting like algae or weeds.  It will remain motionless until a fish swims by,at this point the turtle will poke its head out of its shell with its mouth wide open and sucks in its prey like a vacuum cleaner swallowing it whole.Honolulu Zoos Matamata

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