Diurnal, originally from Mothar (South America). Common. There are about a million of them in Mothar, a hundred thousand in Fasach (Africa), ten thousand in Larnach, and a few scattered elsewhere. They are among the races with the weakest magic, and rarely manifest multiple talents. About 10% of matamatas have magic. About 90% of those have low power, 7% have below average, and 3% have average. Racial abilities include water magic, air magic, earth magic, camouflage, truth sensing, and offensive magic.
Males stand between 5-6 feet high and females 6-7 feet. They are highly anthropomorphic: scaly brown humanoids with a tough spiny shell covering the torso. They lay eggs in a nest, usually in a marsh or riverbank, then abandon them. The hatchlings emerge voracious and aggressive. Hatchlings that survive until the babbling stage (around 2 years) seek out adults, and adults who want to raise offspring choose the most intelligent hatchlings to adopt. They have tough skin that readily tolerates tattoo ink and war paint.
They are excellent at swimming and hunting. They often take dangerous jobs, working as soldiers, guards, firefighters, wilderness guides, etc. They have also produced many fine scientists and a handful of rationalist philosophers. They produce few, but compelling, politicians skilled in debate.
Matamatas are formidable enough to get away with being atheists in a very religious hame. Other people dislike them but have learned not to pick fights with them. Matamatas tend to be prosaic and rational; they deal in facts and expect to be shown proof of anything implausible before they will take it seriously. Fasach welcomes them much more readily than it does most other immigrants, and they do well in that more combative, less religious land. They have a close alliance with komodos, who come from an island chain east of Mothar.