Hawksbill Turtle

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Hawksbill turtles are omnivorous and feed primarily on sponges, preferring certain species of sponges found in shallow shoals abundant with brown algae.

Hawksbill turtles are omnivorous and feed primarily on sponges, extracting them from crevices on the reef by using their narrow, pointed beaks. Unusually amongst marine animals, to whom they are often unpalatable, sponges make up the majority of the hawksbill’s diet.

They show a large level of feeding selectivity in the way that they only eat certain species of sponges, some of which are toxic to other animals. They also prefer feeding grounds in shallow shoals abundant with brown algae.

Sea jellies and other coelenterates are also common prey items, as well as mollusks, fish, marine algae, crustaceans, and other sea plants and animals.

Sources: (Edelman, 2004; Ernst, Lovich, Barbour, 1994; Pilcher; Pope, 1939; WWF)
Image: timh*78

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