Species of Sea Turtles
What do sea turtles eat?
Green: Adults are referred to as herbivores although as hatchlings they are omnivores. Their diet consists primarily of algae, seagrasses, and seaweed. Greens have a finely serrated (sawlike) beak that allows them to scrape algae off rocks and tear grasses and seaweeds.
Leatherback: Sometimes referred to as gelatinivores (eating gelatinous prey) because their diet consists exclusively of jellies and other soft-bodied invertebrates like tunicates and sea squirts. They have 2 sharply pointed cusps, one on the upper and one on the lower jaw that allows them to pierce jellies and other soft-bodied organisms.
Loggerhead: Adults are carnivores, eating crabs, conchs, whelks, and horseshoe crabs. Hatchlings are omnivores, eating both plant and animal material. Loggerheads have a massive head and strong jaws which enable them to crush hard-shelled prey.
Hawksbill: Often referred to as spongivores because of their specialized diet which consists almost exclusively of sponges. The hawksbill has a sharp, narrow "bird-like" beak that allows them to reach within crevices on the reef.
Olive ridley: An omnivore, these turtles eat a variety of animals and plants including crabs, shrimp, lobster, urchins, jellies, algae, and fish.
Kemp's ridley: A carnivore that eats crabs, fish, jellies, shrimp, and a variety of molluscs. It's preferred prey though is crab.
Flatback: An omnivore that consumes sea cucumbers, jellies, soft corals, shrimp, crabs, molluscs, fish, and seaweed.
Life Cycle of Sea Turtles
image By Kcheff13 - https://seaturtlefoundation.squarespace.com/storage/lifecycle.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1343865789913, CC BY-SA 3.0,
1) Male and female turtles age in the ocean and migrate to shallow coastal water.
2) Turtles mate in the water near offshore nesting sites.
3) The adult male turtles return to the feeding sites in the water.
4) Female turtles cycle between mating and nesting.
5) Females lay their eggs.
6) When the season is over, female turtles return to feeding sites.
7) Baby turtles incubate for 60-80 days and hatch.
8) Newly hatched turtles emerge from nests and travel from the shore to the water.
9) Baby turtles mature in the ocean until they are ready to begin the cycle again.
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