What do Turtles Eat?

By | May 29, 2018

You all must have heard of the reptile called a turtle. It is one of the oldest species living on this planet. There are more than 300 species of this reptile on our earth. They are known to be harmless. Some people even have turtles as their pets.
Do you know the food habits of turtles? Some might say that turtles are herbivores. If you too think that it is true, then you are wrong. Though many turtles are herbivores, there are also some which are purely carnivorous. In addition to these two types, some of the turtles are omnivores, which means that they consume both plants and animals.

what do turtles eat

Food Habits of Turtles

The diet of a turtle, in fact, depends on its habitat. Below mentioned are the different food habits of the various types of turtles.

  • Wild turtles usually depend on mall insects, snails, plants growing in water, fish, and dead marine animals.
  • Turtles which live in sea consume seagrass, algae, sponges, shrimp, jellyfish, crabs, and sea cucumbers. The green sea turtles are strictly herbivorous and consume only algae and seagrasses.
  • The turtles living in freshwater have an entirely different diet compared to those living in the sea. They eat mainly crustaceans, plants in water, aquatic insects, larvae, worms, snail, small mammals, snakes, frog, and fish. Some of the freshwater turtles also eat other smaller turtles.
  • Yet another type of turtle is the terrestrial turtle. They eat worms, beetles, grubs, caterpillar, fruits, berries, mushrooms, and flowers.
  • Some of the aquatic and land turtles also prefer to eat decaying flesh.

Things to keep in mind while feeding a pet turtle

One of the important points to be kept in mind while feeding a pet turtle is that the food you provide should be rich in proteins. Proteins help the turtles to grow. Some of the best food items for the turtles are given below.

  • Leafy vegetables
  • Insects
  • Cooked meat
  • Cooked eggs
  • Flowers

Also, you should never give dairy products to the turtles. Though calcium is essential to maintain the strength of their shell, they cannot digest dairy products. Nevertheless, you can provide them calcium supplements to help them enhance the strength of their shells.

The diet of your pet depends on the type of turtle you own. For example, a painted turtle eats earthworms, tadpoles, snails, apples, berries, bananas, etc. Whereas a box turtle prefers to eat apples, strawberries, spiders, crickets, cucumbers, grasshopper, etc.

Therefore, it is necessary to have a thorough knowledge of the type of turtle you own before planning their diet. Different types of turtles have different preferences. If you provide them with the wrong diet, your pet turtle will not be able to grow properly. Also, turtles are known for its messy eating habit. Therefore, make sure that you have a separate tank for feeding them. Otherwise, you will have to clean them after each and every meal.

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