Q:

What is the sea turtle food chain?

A:

Quick Answer

The diet of sea turtles varies by species and size. Some are generalists that consume fish, jellyfish and crustaceans, while others feed exclusively on a single prey, such as sponges. While adult sea turtles are only vulnerable to large sharks and similar predators, the eggs and young are eaten by a wide variety of predators. Sea gulls, raccoons, skunks, dogs and crabs consume eggs and newly hatched sea turtles.

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Full Answer

Loggerhead sea turtles have very large heads, which help them crush well-protected prey, such as conchs and whelks. Leatherbacks, which are the world’s largest sea turtle species, have sharp beaks that help them catch jellyfish. Green sea turtles are herbivores that primarily consume sea grasses and related plants. However, young green sea turtles subsist primarily on small animals, such as crustaceans and hydrozoans. Flatback and olive ridley sea turtles are opportunistic omnivores that consume a variety of plants and animals. Kemp's ridley eat crabs, fish, jellies, shrimp and molluscs.

Tiger sharks are well-documented predators of sea turtles, although other large species consume them as well. Killer whales have been documented catching large leatherback sea turtles. Nevertheless, hatchlings are at the greatest risk. According to Sea World, predators eat approximately 90 percent of the eggs and young in each sea turtle nest.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How old is the oldest sea turtle?

    A:

    As of 2014, the oldest sea turtle is said to be 400 years old. It is in captivity in the Guangzhou Aquarium in China and weighs 300 kilograms. It is not possible, however, to determine the age of the oldest sea turtle in the wild.

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  • Q:

    What is a sea turtle's lifespan?

    A:

    A sea turtle's lifespan ranges from 80 to 100 years. It is difficult to determine the exact age of a sea turtle from physical appearance. Biologists derive age estimates from the maturity and reproductive status of the turtle.

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  • Q:

    How many eggs do sea turtles lay?

    A:

    The number of eggs a sea turtle lays depends on its species, but the turtles lay an average of 110 eggs in a nest. Flatback turtles lay the least amount with about 50 eggs in a nest. Hawksbill turtles lay the most eggs with more than 200 in one nest.

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  • Q:

    What kind of habitat does the green sea turtle like?

    A:

    Green sea turtles have habitats on land for nesting and habitats in shallow and open water areas of the ocean. Female green turtles use beaches to nest. Because sea turtles are an endangered species, part of some beaches close off to protect hatching grounds when females are nesting.

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