What Do Turtles Eat?

What do Turtles Eat in General?

On this page we will give you the answer to that question that is playing on your mind, what do turtles eat?

As with most lifeforms of animal, turtles are diverse and with over 300 species in existence their diet is equally as diverse.

The majority of turtles are omnivores, this means they essentially eat anything they can get their paws on. There are some turtles that are carnivores (only eat meat) and others that are vegetarian (only eat non-meat food).

The species is the determining factor in what a turtle eats, the varying types of jaw play a pivotal role in this as they determine what a turtle is able to chew, but also the geographical location is a factor as this determines the food that is actually available.


Sea Turtles

In general sea turtles will eat shrimp, sea grass, sponges, algae, sea squirts, squid, , cuttlefish,  crabs, jellyfish and sea cucumbers. However this again depends on the specific species.

Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), have scissor like jaws that are perfectly adapted to consume a jellyfish only diet (Sea Turtle Conservancy).

Green sea turtles (Chelonia myadis) however are entirely herbivores and eat sea grass and algae.

Freshwater Turtles

Freshwater turtle’s diet will generally include food such as water plants, insect larvae, worms, snails, algae, aquatic insects, crustaceans  and fruit.

However species such as snapping turtles will even consume small mammals, snakes, frogs and even some small turtles!

Some species of freshwater turtles, such as snapping turtles, also eat small mammals, frogs, snakes, fish and even other, smaller turtles.

Box Turtles (Terrestrial Turtles)

Terrestrial turtles diet is just as varied as it’s sea faring cousin.

Terrestrial turtles also eat a variety of foods, from earthworms, grubs, snails, beetles and caterpillars to grasses, fruit, berries, mushrooms and flowers. Both aquatic and land turtles have been known to eat carrion (decaying flesh) when it’s available.

Many species of turtles are commonly kept as pets, and just like their wild cousins, they eat a diverse range of foods. Commercial turtle pellets and fish pellets, as well as gut-loaded insects (bugs with nutrient-rich diets), earthworms and small fish, are often sold as turtle food at pet stores. Turtle owners should speak with a veterinarian or other professional when planning a diet for their pet, as the diets of captive turtles also vary by species.

What do Baby Turtles Eat?

Coming soon!

What do Pet Turtles Eat?

Coming soon!