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Matamata Turtle Skull Replica measures 4.3 inches. Matamata Turtle Skull Replica is museum quality polyurethane cast. Made in the USA. 2-part skull (separate cranium and jaw) and Hyoid. Our precise skull can be used as a teaching tool, museum skull exhibit, home decor skull, or office decor skull. Hyoid measures 7.5 inches.
The Matamata turtle or Chelus fimbriatus is a freshwater turtle found in South America, primarily in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. It is the only extant species in the genus.
The Matamata turtle or Chelus fimbriatus is almost surreal in appearance, and at first glance may resemble a pile of debris. Younger turtles are salmon pink to reddish-brown in coloration with black to green mottling. As Matamata turtle matures, the pinkish hues are replaced by faded yellow, washed out browns, oranges, and greys.
The shell has three lengthwise knobby keels. Algae may cover much of the carapace causing the animal to virtually disappear into its surroundings. A fairly large turtle, Matamata turtle or Chelus fimbriatus may reach a shell length of nearly 45 cm.
The head is broadly triangular with large lateral flaps of skin. The snout has evolved into a long protuberance used as a snorkel, minimizing the turtle’s movement as only the tip of the snout emerges form the water during respiration.
The back of the eyes are lined with a tapetum lucidum, a visual adaptation which reflects light. Despite this, they have extremely poor eyesight.
The Matamata turtle or Chelus fimbriatus can sense auditory stimuli obtained through a well developed tympanum on both sides of the head. Matamata turtles are poor swimmers with legs adapted for walking on the bottom of their muddy habitats. Hatchlings and juveniles can swim awkwardly. Adults rarely leave the bottom of shallow pools and streams.
The Matamata turtle or Chelus fimbriatus use a specific method of seizing their prey. They will move the prey into shallower areas of water, surround the prey, and wave their front legs to prevent them from escaping. Once surrounded, the mata mata turtles will open their mouths and contract their pharynx, causing a rush of water that pushes the prey into their mouth.
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