We all know that turtles are herbivores. These intelligent, exotic, and beautiful animals are equipped with powerful, sharp teeth to help them get their food. They also have a thick, scaly shell to help them weather tough conditions.
With all this equipment, it’s no wonder that turtles are some of the most popular pets in the world! But, are turtles herbivores?
In many parts of the world, including the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South Asia, aquatic turtle species are known as herbivores. They eat plants, not meat. The word “herbivore” literally means “one who eats plants.”
Are Turtles Herbivores?
In the past, it was believed that turtles were herbivores. Turtles have been found to be omnivores in the wild and in captivity. However, turtles are still considered to be herbivores.
10 Facts About The Herbivorous Aquatic Turtle
1. Herbivorous turtles are not the only herbivores out there!
Herbivorous turtles are not the only herbivores in the world. In fact, they are just one of many types of herbivores that exist. There are also insectivores, carnivores, and even piscivores (fish-eaters).
2. Herbivorous turtles evolved to be smaller than carnivorous ones!
This is because herbivorous turtles have a hard time catching fast-moving prey. To survive, they had to evolve into small and agile animals. They also had to evolve a different body structure for catching their prey. The shape of their body allows them to move through the water more easily than carnivorous ones do (because they don’t need to be as strong).
3. An aquatic turtle’s shell is designed for digging!
Most people think that aquatic turtle shells look like a shell of a tortoise or an iguana. However, they are actually completely different from those animals. Turtles have a thick, scaly shells on their backs to help them swim through the water and to protect themselves from predators. They also have special muscles that allow them to dig into the sand for their food!
4. Herbivorous turtles have hard shells, but soft flesh!
An aquatic turtle’s shell is made of keratin (a protein found in human nails) and calcium carbonate (a mineral). The shell is extremely hard, so it can protect the animal from predators. Because of its hard shell, an aquatic turtle’s flesh is not as nutritious as that of a carnivorous one (who eats meat).
5. Herbivorous turtles often live in groups!
Herbivorous turtles often live in groups because they need each other for protection against predators or other dangers. When two or more are together, they can help each other out by digging up food and defending their territory against other turtles.
6. Herbivorous turtles often dig their own burrows!
Herbivorous turtles typically live in the water, so they don’t have to dig holes for themselves. However, some species do dig their own burrows in the sand. The burrow is usually a few feet deep, and it has a small opening at the top that is just big enough for the turtle to get through.
7. Herbivorous turtles can be very long-lived!
Many aquatic turtles live over 100 years or more! This is because of their hard shells and slow metabolisms (the rate at which their bodies use energy). In addition, these turtles are able to slow down their metabolisms by hibernating during cold weather. As a result of living so long, some aquatic turtle species have very few young each year (compared to other types of turtles). For example, some species only have one or two babies per generation!
8. Herbivorous turtles have a variety of different colors!
Most aquatic turtles have brown or gray shells, but some species have different colors. For example, some species of box turtles are mostly yellow, and others are dark brown. Some freshwater turtles are even red!
9. Herbivorous turtles often eat plants!
Herbivorous turtles can eat plants because they don’t need to eat meat for survival (as carnivorous turtles do). However, aquatic turtles in the wild typically eat meat more than plants. They will also eat other animals (like fish), but most of them will only eat plants if it is available.
10. Herbivorous turtle eggs aren’t poisonous to humans!
Some people think that turtle eggs are poisonous because they look like little balls or pincushions! However, this is not true; they are completely safe to eat and can even be cooked into a tasty meal if you wish. In fact, many people enjoy eating them as a delicious snack or as part of a meal.
What Are The Differences Between An Herbalivore And A Meat-Eater?
- Herbivores eat plants.
- Herbivores need to eat plants to get their nutrients.
- Herbivores can’t digest meat so they must only eat vegetables and fruits.
- Herbivores don’t need any kind of exercise or exercise routine to stay healthy (they just lay around all day).
- Herbivores have a very slow metabolism that allows them to spend more time resting and less time eating than carnivorous animals do (meat-eaters).
- Herbivores produce only a small amount of waste each day which is easily removed from their bodies by the kidneys and excreted through the skin or out of the body via urine or feces (which are both made up of water). Meat-eaters produce a lot more waste, which has to be removed from their bodies by the liver and excreted via feces, urine, or sweat (which are all made up of water).
- Herbivores eat large amounts of food each day, which is why they need to eat a lot of food (they can’t digest meat very well).
- Herbivores need to eat a lot of food so that their bodies can get the nutrients they need to survive.
- Herbivores need to eat a lot of food so that their bodies can produce enough waste for them to excrete from their bodies via urine or feces (their body’s natural waste-removal system).
- Herbivores have no teeth so they cannot chew up or swallow any kind of meat, including small animals like mice and insects.
Is It Hard To Tell The Difference Between Meat-Eaters And Herbivores?
There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to determine whether a given species of turtle is a meat-eater or a herbivore.
- The turtle’s teeth and the vegetation it eats need to be considered. The type of food should be determined as well. The type of food a turtle eats will likely determine if it is a carnivore or a herbivore.
- The turtle’s age should also be taken into consideration. A young turtle may not be able to tell the difference between meat and plant material, while an old turtle may be able to differentiate better.
- Finally, the environment where the animal lives will also play a role in determining if it is a meat-eater or a herbivore. Freshwater turtles tend to be herbivores, for example, while marine turtles are more likely to become carnivores as they age.
- There are exceptions of course, such as the leatherback turtle, which is a scavenger and eats other dead things, such as seafood.
- When determining whether your turtle is a carnivore or an herbivore, you should pay attention to the turtle’s diet. If the turtle is eating only aquatic vegetation, it is likely not a carnivore. Look at the teeth of your turtle to determine what it may be eating. If they are relatively small and rounded, like in most freshwater turtles, this may be indicative of an herbivorous diet. In other cases, such as with larger freshwater turtles, these teeth may indicate that your turtle is an omnivorous animal that eats both meat and vegetation.
- Another way to tell if your turtle is an omnivore or an herbivore is by looking at the size of its shell. Turtles that eat only aquatic vegetation tend to be smaller than those that feed on both land-dwelling vegetation and aquatic plants.
The Bottom Line
Turtles are fascinating animals with a wide variety of habits and behaviors. They are also beautiful and intelligent, and can often be kept as a pet.
Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about them. They are not only intelligent but also social and affectionate. They even have a voice that is similar to a human voice!