Oct 27, 2006

Unique Technique

I can't get enough of the matamata turtle. This particular shot shows the grin, the tube nose, and those scaly danglies of this reptile so well.

These nocturnal hunters have a technique that is unique from other turtles. When they find something tasty - a crustacean, fish, frog, small mammal, or even a bird - they strike while opening their mouths and expanding their throats. This motion creates a vacuum which literally sucks their prey into their mouths.

Those snouts are flexible, like real snorkels. I almost wich I had one, too. It seems so handy. But I'll stick with the whole walking upright and opposable thumbs thing instead.

Thanks for the photo, Fons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used to have to take care of one of these guys when I was a zookeeper. He was huge, and unbelievably fast. We had to wave dead fish in front of his face to get him to eat. Good times.