Scientific Name: Chelus fimbriata

Found In: South America/Tropical river systems, particularly ox-bow lakes, ponds, and creeks that are slow-moving with soft, muddy bottoms

Size: The carapace (top shell) of adults averages at 1.5 feet in length and 33 pounds

Diet: Carnivore. Diet consists of fish and aquatic invertebrates

Threat Level: Least Concern. The exotic pet trade is the major threat to this species

Facts: The skin flaps and other protusions on the head of this species aid in detecting vibrations in the water to catch prey and avoid predators.

Mata mata at the Virginia Zoo