What Do Sea Turtles Eat ?

What Do Sea Turtles Eat ?

According to zoologists, there are around 8 species of sea turtles. These are green sea turtle, black sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, Olive Ridley sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, flatback sea turtle and the leatherback sea turtle. All these species are found in all oceans other than the Arctic. One of the questions that keeps popping up about sea turtles is what do they eat.

This question is rather difficult to answer. What the wild sea turtles eat is based not just on their species, but also on their habitat. There are some species of sea turtles that are known to be carnivorous, some herbivorous, while others are both.

The black sea turtle and the green sea turtle are herbivorous. They subsist on a diet of algae and sea grass. In fact, these two species of turtles are the only herbivores when they reach maturity. But, in captivity, they can be fed meat.

When it comes to flatback sea turtles, it has been seen that they eat seaweeds, sea cucumbers and also cuttlefish. While loggerheads and Ridley turtles are known to eat crabs, shrimps, jellyfish, marine vegetation and mollusks. The hawksbill sea turtle lives on a diet of shrimps, squids, sponges and tunicates.

However, as sea turtles age, their diet changes. A good example is the green sea turtle. From the time they hatch to the time they reach their juvenile size, the green sea turtles are primarily carnivores. Thereafter, they become herbivores.

So, as you can see the diet of the different species of sea turtles is varied. One cannot say that what one species eats, the other too eats.

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