Mata Mata Turtle

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Species group:

Other common names: Matamata

Scientific name: Chelus fimbriatus

The basics:
The Mata Mata is a freshwater turtle which is native to the Amazon and Orinoco basins in South America. They live in slow moving streams, stagnant pools, marshes and swamps and feed on aquatic invertebrates and fish.

Appearance / health:
The appearance of the Mata Mata Turtle's grayish brown shell resembles a piece of bark, and its head resembles fallen leaves. It has a large triangular flattened head with many tubercles and flaps of skin. The Mata Mata catches prey by extending its neck so that the mouth is as wide as possible, and it creates a low-pressure vacuum that sucks the prey into its mouth, known as suction feeding.

Warm, acidic water with a high tannin content should be maintained all year round. Moderate to heavy filtration is recommended.


snorkellike nose, fascinating captive turtle, shell knobby, phenomenally long necks, leaf shaped head


large caging, slightly acidic water, water quality, PH

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