What Eats a Turtle?

Predators to the turtle vary depending on the habitat and age of the turtle. For example, a sea turtle's natural predators include killer whales, sharks and other large fish. The tiger shark is one of the sea turtle's most dangerous enemies.

Sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach, which opens the door for even more predators. Before the turtle eggs are even hatched, the unborn turtles can be eaten by dogs and coyotes that dig them up. Once the baby turtle is born, it makes a sprint for the ocean. During this dash to the ocean, the hatchlings have to worry about new predators, such as gulls.

Since turtles are slow, they don't prey on other animals often. However, the diet of a turtle does depend on the habitat of the turtle. For example, fresh water turtles tend to feed on the larvae of marine invertebrates. When they get older, their diet switches over to eating marine vegetation. Sea turtles, on the other hand, feed on sea creatures such as jellyfish. However, sea turtles also eat their fair share of vegetation, including seaweed and algae. Turtles who live on the land are nearly all herbivores. They usually graze on plants within their short reach, such as bushes, grass and shrubs. Occasionally, turtles eat small insects, but most of these bugs are simply caught up in the plants that the turtles eat.