What Foods Do Turtles Eat?


Quick Answer

A turtle's diet depends on the species and whether it is held in captivity. For example, a wild turtle eats wild plants and small animals, such as insects and worms, while a pet turtle is typically fed a diet of store-bought produce, including cabbage, strawberries and carrots. Some pet turtles also eat proteins, such as guppies.

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What Foods Do Turtles Eat?
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Full Answer

Land turtles are most likely to be herbivores that sometimes supplement their diet with fruits and proteins. Galapagos tortoises eat mostly grass and leaves. Some freshwater turtles eat animals; for instance, snapping turtles snatch up fish and freshwater shellfish as a prominent part of their diet. However, many turtle species that eat protein as babies grow up to have a mostly plant-based diet.

Sea turtles also have a varied diet depending on their species. Green sea turtles focus their diet on vegetation, while the throat design of leatherback turtles makes it easy for them to eat jellyfish as a centerpiece of their diet. Loggerhead sea turtles prefer food with tough shells, such as conch shells, and they have powerful jaws that make it easy to crack open the thick shells. Some sea turtles are omnivores that eat both plants and animals. Some omnivorous species include olive ridley and flatback sea turtles.

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