Sea turtle diet plans differ by types and age. Not just are some types carnivores while others are herbivores, some modification exactly what they consume as they age. The factor for such range boils down to anatomical elements like jaw sizes and shape and immunity to contaminants discovered in some prey.
Green Sea Turtles
Extremely, green sea turtles are the only herbivorous types. Their jaws are perfectly adjusted for consuming sea lawns, seaweed, and algae. With their serrated, saw-like beak, they can scrape the algae off rocks and tear lawns. In fact, green sea turtles are crucial for maintaining coral reefs by preventing overgrowth of algae. There is even a seagrass species known as “turtle grass” because, in locations like the Caribbean, the green sea turtle consumes it solely.
Leatherback Sea Turtles
If you have actually been wondering, “Do sea turtles consume jellyfish,” the answer is yes. Leatherback sea turtles are carnivores with fragile, scissor-like jaws perfectly matched for eating jellyfish. While they will also periodically eat fish, mollusks, squid, and sea urchins, they choose soft-bodied animals. Remarkably, some leatherback turtles have been tracked crossing the whole Pacific Ocean to feed on swarms of jellyfish discovered off the coasts. The leatherback’s mouth and throat are lined with spine-like structures called papillae which help them swallow. Sadly, due to the fact that their diet plan includes mainly jellyfish, they frequently consume plastic bags floating in the ocean which results in their deaths.
Loggerhead Sea Turtles
Unlike the fragile jaws of leatherback, the loggerhead turtle’s jaws are strong and adapted for grinding. They normally have large heads and strong feet that permit them to catch and crush victim found on the ocean flooring. They primarily eat crabs, horseshoe crabs, other mollusks, and shrimps. They do also consume jellyfish.
Hawksbill Sea Turtles
Because they have jaws that satisfy at a severe angle, hawksbill turtles can quickly reach food in crevices and tight spaces like those found in coral reefs. They are omnivores and are known to consume generally sponges, shrimps, squids, sea turfs, sea urchins, and barnacles. Remarkably, while sponges contain glass-like spinal columns called spicules which are generally harmful to sea creatures, hawksbill turtles are immune to it. They are likewise known to eat only certain types of sponges which help offer more unusual sponges a possibility to grow, creating a more varied eco-system.
Hawksbill Sea Turtle Eating On Sea Floor
Baby Sea Turtles
Exactly what do baby sea turtles consume? As pointed out before, the diet of numerous species of sea turtles changes as they age. For instance, young green sea turtles are omnivores, consuming a variety of insects, shellfishes, sea grasses, and worms. Loggerheads are also omnivorous as hatchlings, only growing more carnivorous as they end up being grownups. Young hawksbill turtles are not able to dive deep, and as a result, spend their early years finding food amongst sea plants near the water’s surface area.
Do Sea Turtles Consume Fish?
Protein is essential to the diet of lots of sea turtles. For that reason, fish belongs to the diets of some types. Olive ridley turtles and Kemp ridley turtles specifically are known for eating fish among other shellfishes and mollusks. Flatback sea turtles also can consume fish.
Read more: what sea turtles eat