What Do Sea Turtles Eat | Sea Turtles Diet

With the exception of one species all sea turtles are primarily carnivorous. The green sea turtle is exclusively herbivorous as it mostly feeds on sea grasses. The remaining species primarily consumes crustaceans, sponges, barnacles, mollusks, fish, or sea urchins.

What Do Sea Turtles Eat

Loggerhead turtle is known to feed on small animals as it remains carnivorous throughout his life. The young turtle feeds on crustaceans, sargassum (an alga), snails, gastropods, decapods, bivalves, cephalopods, sea pens, isopods, starfish, sand dollars, polychaete worms, bryozoans, insects, and jellyfish. Both adults and young feeds typically on the bottom to consume worms, snails, sponges, squid, barnacles, conch, clams, octopus, horseshoe, shrimp, fish, crabs, sea urchins, algae and other aquatic plants. They rarely feed on hatchling sea turtles.

Green sea turtles are primarily herbivorous. They eat several genera of sea grasses apart from algae. However evidence suggests that the young sea turtles also rely on animals for their consumption. Their diet consists of sponges, mollusks, corals, sea cucumbers, crustaceans, sea urchins, jellyfish, and sea squirts, is rarely ingested, some perhaps secondarily while the turtle eats sea grasses. They mostly eat during the day.

Kemp ridley turtles are carnivorous. They like to feed on crabs but their diet also consists of clams, insects, jellyfish, fishes, squid eggs, barnacles, shrimp, comb jellies, sea urchins, snails, and sea cucumbers. Kemp ridley seldom feeds on sargassum weed and other aquatic plants.

The hawksbill sea turtle mostly feeds on sea sponges that constitute 70 – 95% of their diet in the Caribbean. Hawksbill also eats sea anemones and cnidarians. Leatherback turtles are known to consume jellyfish and as such jellyfish population is controlled all the time.

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