Friday, November 7, 2014

Videos: Strategies Used by Sea Turtles to Avoid Being Eaten by Tiger Sharks

Did you ever wonder how we have any sea turtles left in our oceans?  Surely as the years have passed these slow moving tasty morsels of goodness would have nearly all be consumed by the the more agile and powerful shark. I mean really, other than a hard shell (which tiger sharks have little problem sawing through with their well suited teeth), what chance do sea turtles have?

Tiger shark attempts to eat sea turtle
Well it turns out, sea turtles have some clever defenses that it can use to help avoid being taken by a shark.

Firstly, when approached by an inquiring shark, the sea turtle will often present it's full, flat shell towards the shark.  Instead of being horizontal like a flat cookie which the shark can easily bite through, it will stay in a half-roll type position and the shark will not be able to open it's mouth wide enough to bite into the large broad surface of the shell.

Tiger shark attempts to bite sea turtle but turtle uses defensive strategy.
Secondly, the turtle will stay very close to the shark and will keep swimming in a tight circle around the shark.  The shark will not be able to match the tight radius and thus will not be able to latch onto the turtle.

This informative video was posted by skyler thomas and is just over a minute in length.  The short clip was taken from a full episode which can be viewed here.