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The mata mata or matamata (Chelus fimbriata)

Venezuela epaiva Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-11-2017, 05:05 AM by epaiva )

The mata mata (Chelus fimbriata) is a freshwater turtle found in South America, primarily in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. It is the only extant species in the genus Chelus.
The mata mata is a large, sedentary turtle with a large, triangular, flattened head characterized with many tubercles and flaps of skin, and a "horn" on its long and tubular snout. Three barbels occur on the chin and four additional filamentous barbels at the upper jaw, which is neither hooked nor notched.
The mata mata's brown or black, oblong carapace can measure up to 45 cm (18 in) at adult age. The full adult weight is 15 kg (33 lb). The mata mata's plastron is reduced, narrowed, hingeless, shortened towards the front, and deeply notched at the rear with narrow bridges.The head, neck, tail, and limbs are grayish brown on adults. The neck is longer than the vertebra under its carapace and is fringed with small skin flaps along both sides. Hatchlings show a pink to reddish tinge in the underside edge of their carapaces and plastrons that gradually disappear as they grow.
The mata mata inhabits slow moving, blackwater streams, stagnant pools, marshes, and swamps ranging into northern Bolivia, eastern Peru, Ecuador, eastern Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, and northern and central Brazil. The mata mata is strictly an aquatic species but it prefers standing in shallow water where its snout can reach the surface to breathe.
Credits to @89_seba @thewildhanbury @thewildhanbury and @chriz_zemi

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