Monday, February 29, 2016

That was a Leatherback sea turtle esophagus?

Hey everyone!

Remember when we visited CCBER and we saw the sharp, pointy piece of whatever in that jar in the back? Yeah? To jog your memory, it looked a little like this:

http://www.viralnova.com/leather-back-turtle/

Well this, my friends, is the inside of the leatherback sea turtle's throat! And those terrifying spikes are its "teeth". Check it out!

http://www.viralnova.com/leather-back-turtle/
http://www.viralnova.com/leather-back-turtle/










These jagged spikes, which line the throat all the way to down the stomach, are called stalactites. Stalactites are a special adaptation unique to the the leatherback because they are crucial to the quick digestion of the leatherback's main prey, jellyfish. Because jellyfish are not very nutritious, this turtle must eat nearly it's entire bodyweight in jellyfish in order to obtain its daily nutrients. That's a whole lot of jellyfish when you consider how enormous these guys can get, up to 1,500lbs!

http://www.conservationindia.org/articles/tracking-leatherback-turtle-migration
Leatherbacks are the largest living sea turtle, but sadly they, along with the six other species of sea turtles, are endangered

To learn more about these amazing creatures and how you can help protect them, visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/


Thanks!
Emma



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