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A New Species of Turtles Has Been Discovered and it Looks Like a Rock Covered in Algae

The new species discovered by scientists.

The new species discovered by scientists.

The findings were released recently where the researchers also said the species does not face any threat of endangerment as of now.

A new species of turtles has been discovered by a group of scientists at the Natural History Collections in Dresden, Germany. The team, under Dr. Uwe Fritz, has identified the new type of fringed turtle as matamata.

The appearance of the matamata species makes them stand out from the usual turtles. They hide in mud and look look like rocks covered in algae when underwater, the Mashable reported. Their eating habits differ from the usual turtles too. When prey approaches, it's sucked into their large mouths and then swallowed whole.

"Until now, it was assumed that there was only one type of [armor-wearer] that was widespread in South America," Dr Fritz was quoted as saying. He said that not much is known about the genetics of this new species and the fringed turtles are known for their odd appearance and eating habits. It was concluded from previous studies that matamatas can vary in appearance hich led Dr Fritz’s team to study 75 DNA samples to see if there was a genetic difference. There were differences.

The newly discovered matamata can be found in Orinoco and Río Negro basins in South America, while the previously-known matamata turtles reside in the Amazon basin, according to reports. The findings were released recently where the researchers also said the species does not face any threat of endangerment as of now.
first published:April 27, 2020, 19:29 IST