Apr 19, 2009

Don't Let the Smile Deceive You

The matamata turtle is one of those creatures with a deceptively cheerful face. What truly lurks behind that smile is a cold-blooded (literally) killer. That snorkel of a nose and its serpentine neck allow it to lurk underwater for hours on end with nary a movement. Its neck and head a very sensitive to subtle movements in the water caused by swimming fish. And when it strikes, it does so by hinging open its cavernous mouth so fast that its prey is sucked in.

So, again, don't let the smile decieve you. The same can be said of smiles from salesmen and politician's smiles.

Photo by Joachim S. Müller


The Gravekeeper said...

I love matamatas. I mean, they've got a permanent smile, and they're one of the few turtle species that are perfectly designed to be an ambush predator. I've also heard that, in captivity, they don't need as much space in proportion to their size as other turtles do since they don't move around all that much.

Unknown said...

What about the turtles whose tongues look like worms? Or am I thinking of a species of fish?

JAS said...

Don't these guys work during tax season at the regional IRS offices?

Vanessa said...

You're right, he's cute but I wouldn't buy a vacuum from him.

morgan said...

Becca--the turtle you're thinking of is the Alligator snapping turtle.
There are a lot of fish that use a worm-tongue lure as well!