What do sea turtles eat? Unfortunately, plastic bags.
<img width="660" height="495" alt="" src="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/photos/17519/images/simple_style_full/Medium_WW260730.jpg?1563396025" /><img width="660" height="495" alt="" src="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/photos/17278/images/simple_style_full/Medium_WW170012.jpg?1557350964" />Would you rather pick a fight with a jellyfish or a plastic bag?
For sea turtles, this question should be simple. Their scales protect them from the worst of a jellyfish’s venom, and the resulting meal is both tasty and nutritious. But a single piece of plastic can be deadly.
The problem is that sea turtles don’t know what plastic is, and they don’t get to choose.
There are seven species of sea turtles found in the world’s oceans today, and they each have different dietary preferences.
- Loggerhead: Hatchlings are omnivores (meaning they eat both animals and plants) but adults are carnivores, favoring crabs, whelks, and conchs.
- Green: Fully grown sea turtles are herbivores and like to hang around coral reefs to scrape off seagrass and algae. Hatchlings, however, are omnivorous.
- Hawksbill: The bird-like beak that gives them their name allows hawksbills to access cracks on coral reefs to reach sea sponges, which are pretty much all these fussy eaters want.
- Leatherback: Leatherback turtles are often known as gelatinivores, meaning they only eat invertebrates such as jellyfish and sea squirts.
- Flatback: This species will eat everything from seaweed to shrimp and crabs.
- Kemp’s ridley: Meat is the only thing on the menu for the Kemp’s ridley—with a strong preference for crab.
- Olive ridley: Another omnivorous species that eats jellies, sea cucumbers, fish, and a wide variety of other plants and animals.
The earliest ancestors of these seven species appeared on Earth around 220 million years ago, and today’s [...]