Turtle Blog

Species and Environments impacted by Sea Turtles:

Jellyfish

The diet of a Sea Turtle is determined by its species, which can include plants, animals, sponges or jellyfish. As well as feeding on Seagrass beds, another main part of a Sea Turtle’s meal consists of   jellyfish which provides them nourishment and strength. Jellyfish bodies are mainly made up of water with minimal body mass so the Sea Turtles have to eat a great amount of them daily. The Sea Turtles are able to avoid the jellyfish’s venom, since within their mouths are barbed projections made out of rigid proteins that also line their throat area. When Sea Turtles feed on these jellyfish, their actions positively affect the level of fish stocks. Since jellyfish devour fish eggs and larvae, without the Sea Turtles intervention could result in a great unbalance to the volume of fish species.

Green Sea Turtle Eating

Other Species

Without the Sea Turtles knowledge, their shells are a host home to numerous species. Also, becoming an additional food source by supporting other groups of ocean life. Due to the attachments of barnacles, algae and epibionts. These tiny travelers are either plants or fishes and only take up a few millimeters. The species that live on a turtle’s shell are a good indicator to the route a Sea Turtle has traveled.

Due to barnacles that attach themselves to a Sea Turtle’s exterior shell, they provide a disguise for when the Sea Turtle is laying on the ocean floor. However, if a barnacle covers the Sea Turtle’s soft areas such as eyes or nostrils this can be harmful to their health. When Sea Turtles open up their bodies by stretching their flippers and elevating their heads, these movements gives other species the ability to feed and receive nourishment. In exchange for these feedings, it decreases the weight of the Sea Turtle’s shell and benefits the overall health of the Sea turtle’s skin.

Environments

Two environments that are constantly being changed by the Sea Turtle’s patterns, are the ocean and the beach. When hunting in the ocean they use their formidable jaws, to crush the hard shells of their prey.  This effect creates smaller pieces of shell on the ocean floor which leads to a quicker recycle of the elements. As the Sea Turtle clears a path in the sand, to uncover their prey these movements adjust the ocean floor which aids in additional ventilation and dispersal of the sediments. When Sea Turtles surfaces from the ocean and make their way back to the beach to begin their nesting cycle. It is the first phase of transferring nutrients back to the environment. For when the nests are lined with decaying unhatched eggs, they attract insects and bacteria growth which impacts the groundwater in these beach environments.