Amazing nature #85 - Fabulous matamata turtles


Hi Steemit family!

In the nature section I bring you an animal that is worth knowing, as I said in previous post reptiles are some of my favorite animals for the great variety in the world, and this creature today is really amazing for its appearance and some habit, it is the charming matamata turtles accompany me to know some of its main characteristics.


Its scientific name is Chelus Fimbriata, the matamata turtle is freshwater and is found in tropical areas exclusive to the Amazon river and tributaries can be found in countries such as Guyana, Brazil, Venezuela and sometimes in Peru, no two or more species of this turtle is the only one and is amazing.


Its shell is really large and triangular in shape, one of its characteristics is that it has some tuberculous and carnosities that make it look like another planet that ends in a kind of horn in his snout tubular shape, likewise, has three barbels on the chin and four additional filamentous barbels in the upper jaw, which are not hooked or have notches. At first, it is difficult to imagine a turtle with such characteristics as the vast majority of turtles have a regular shape and resemble each other very much. It looks like a trunk with legs.


Their color is commonly black or dark brown, they can be up to 45 cm long in an adult stage, and their weight ranges from 13 to 15 kg.


As it looks very much like a bark of a tree this serves perfectly to mimic his eternal which are usually swamps and wooded areas, the tubular aspect of his snout prevents him from chewing so he resorts to sucking his prey which is usually fish. The prey is never larger than the diameter of its mouth.


Their reproduction is very striking since they approach the females exhibiting their erect limb and hitting the female with their head moving the fins that are on the side of their head, then between the months of October and December the female spawns the eggs in places near the water, manage to lay 12 and 28 eggs about 2.5 centimeters in diameter.
Unfortunately, this species is in danger of extinction due to its uncontrolled capture to be sold as an exotic pet, its population is estimated at about 500,000 specimens of more than 2 million that had until the last century.


On many occasions the people who keep them in captivity do not know the techniques to keep them healthy and stable, due to the acidity in the marsh waters that have a high content of tannin is very difficult to reproduce the same conditions for them to stay alive, most parish and those who are kept barely alive have problems with the stress generated by living in inappropriate conditions.


Other reasons for the disappearance of this incredible turtle is the pollution of much of the tributaries of the Amazon River where they extract gold using mercury to separate the precious metal from the rocks, this leads to intoxication that kills them in a matter of days, some have managed to survive but apparently also transmit to their hatchlings some congenital diseases which has changed the physical condition of the matamata turtles.


Thank you for reading


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