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Posted by crang11 on April 25, 2003 at 18:06:34:
In Reply to: Mata Mata coloration posted by Maxx MacLeod on April 24, 2003 at 23:57:20:
I have seen a number of captive older matas which have not had this fade. I know the juvies loose their colorings- the pink in particular- but it usually turns grey or brown. This is a whitening of the shell- it really doesnt look helathy compared to other captive matas the same age and older. It very well may be lack of sun though. I will try putting them in a spot where they get direct sunlight a few hours a day and see if they darken back up.
:crang11-- I've noticed that Mata Matas and most other wild caught turtles lose their bright colors in captivity. Personally (just a theory), I think it's a combination of lack of sunlight and diet...but mostly sunlight. If you look at animals that are kept in captivity but housed outside, the coloration is always good. Of course, Mata Matas don't bask. But they are definitely exposed to lots of sunlight since they are often found in really shallow water. There's a Mata Mata at a fish store near my house that has been in captivity for over 30 years. (If was left on the doorstep as a small turtle this long ago!) This Mata Mata is now HUGE and apparently healthy...but its colors are very poor and washed out, almost like it has been submersed in bleach. I've seen imported animals of the same size that are very brightly colored and vibrant. So...that's my theory. Someone else may also want to put their 2 cents worth in on this topic. --Maxx