Meet the quirky Mata Mata – one of the stars of Adventure Aquarium’s Turtles: Journey of Survival Exhibit

Remember when we said that the 20 or so turtle species taking over Adventure Aquarium for our Turtles: Journey of Survival exhibit were going to be ‘quirky’? Well, here’s what we were talking about…

Meet the Mata Mata Turtle:

Mata Mata4

The Mata Mata is a freshwater species found in South America, primarily in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. It’s a rather large sedentary turtle whose shell resembles a piece of bark and whose head looks like fallen leaves, allowing it to blend into surrounding vegetation in water environments to catch fish as it swims close. Considered omnivorous, the Mata Mata is a “suction feeder” – thrusting out its head and opening its large mouth as wide as possible, creating a low-pressure vacuum that sucks the prey into its mouth. The Mata Mata snaps its mouth shut, slowly expelling water, and the fish is swallowed whole.

Scientific facts aside, let’s face it: He’s really, really cool-looking. Seriously…doesn’t it look like he’s smiling?!

Mata Mata1

So make sure to swing by KidZone to say hi to him during your next visit to Adventure Aquarium during Turtles: Journey of Survival, January 14-March 24! For more facts about this awesome new addition to Adventure Aquarium, visit AdventureAquarium.com.

Mata Mata2

 

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