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What Eats Turtles? (39 Animals with Pictures)

What Eats Turtles

Animals that eat turtles include alligators, mink, bears, raccoons, and bobcats.

The truth is, there are many animals that eat turtles. Some of these animals include fish, snakes, raccoons, and even humans. If you want to learn more about which animals eat turtles, keep reading. We will discuss some of the most common predators of turtles and why they eat them.

Examples of Animals that Eat Turtles

1. Alligators

alligator
Scientific NameAlligator
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeThe United States and China
DietCarnivore

Alligators are one of the most common predators of turtles. They often eat small turtles, but they have been known to consume larger ones as well. Alligators eat turtles because they are a good source of protein. Additionally, alligators can easily crush the shells of turtles with their powerful jaws.

2. American Mink

mink chewing bones
Scientific NameNeovison vison
Type of AnimalMustelid
RangeNorth America
DietCarnivore

American mink are small carnivorous mammals that are native to North America. These animals are related to weasels and otters. American mink typically eat fish, but they will also consume turtles. These animals often eat turtles because they are easy prey.

3. Armadillos

Armadillo
Scientific NameDasypodidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America
DietOmnivore

Armadillos are another predator of turtles. They eat both small and large turtles, and they do so for the same reason as alligators-they are a good source of protein. Armadillos have sharp claws that help them to easily pierce the shells of turtles.

Read Also: 27 Examples of Animals with Scales

4. Black Bears

Asian Black Bear
Scientific NameUrsus americanus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America
DietOmnivore

Black bears are another common predator of turtles. They eat turtles for the same reasons as alligators- they are a good source of protein and they are easy to crush. Additionally, black bears are known to eat turtle eggs, which can be a major source of food for them during the spring and summer months.

5. Bobcats

bobcat
Scientific NameLynx rufus
Type of AnimalCat
RangeNorth America
DietCarnivore

Bobcats typically eat smaller turtles, but they have been known to consume larger ones as well. Bobcats eat turtles because they are a good source of protein.

6. Catfish

catfish
Scientific NameSiluriformes
Type of AnimalFish
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Catfish eat a wide variety of animals, including turtles. Catfish eat turtles for the same reasons alligators do; they are a good source of protein and they are easy to crush.

Related Article: Do Catfish Hunt Humans?

7. Copperheads

copperhead
Scientific NameAgkistrodon contortrix
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNorthern Georgia and Alabama, north to Massachusetts and west to Illinois
DietCarnivore

One of the animals that eat turtles is the copperhead snake. Copperheads are venomous snakes, and they often prey on turtles. One reason why copperheads may eat turtles is that they are easy to catch. Turtles can be slow-moving and sluggish, so they are an easy target for a hungry snake.

8. Coyotes

coyote
Scientific NameCanis latrans
Type of AnimalCanine
RangeNorth America, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central America
DietCarnivore

Coyotes are predators that live in North America. These animals eat a variety of different things, including turtles. Coyotes usually eat the soft parts of the turtle, such as the flesh and organs.

9. Crocodiles

Saltwater Crocodile
Scientific NameCrocodylidae
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeAfrica, Asia, Australia and the Americas
DietCarnivore

Crocodiles are one of the animals that eat turtles. They eat them for a variety of reasons, including to help them digest food and as a source of protein. Crocodiles often prey on turtles in the wild, and they have even been known to attack bigger turtles like the leatherback turtle.

10. Crows

crow
Scientific NameCorvus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Crows are known to eat turtles, and they do so for a few different reasons. First of all, crows are scavengers and will eat anything that is dead or dying. Second of all, crows like to eat the eggs of turtles. Finally, crows may eat turtles because they are competition for food sources.

11. Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Dogs are one of the most common animals that eat turtles. This is because dogs are omnivores, and turtles are a source of protein for them. In addition, dogs have sharp teeth that can easily puncture a turtle’s shell. For these reasons, it is not uncommon to see a dog with a turtle in its mouth.

Related Article: Do Dog Eat Possums?

12. Eagles

golden eagle
Scientific NameAccipitridae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Eagles are one of the most common predators of turtles. They will typically eat small to medium-sized turtles. Eagles will attack turtles from the air and then use their powerful talons to kill them. Once the turtle is dead, they will take it back to its nest where they will eat it. Eagles typically eat turtles because they are an easy meal.

13. Ferrets

Ferret
Scientific NameMustela putorius furo
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America, North Africa, and Western Europe
DietCarnivore

Ferrets are one of the animals that eat turtles. They are small, carnivorous mammals that are closely related to weasels and otters. Ferrets typically hunt for their food at night and they will eat just about anything they can find, including turtles.

14. Fire Ants

Fire Ant Mandibles
Scientific NameSolenopsis
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeSubtropical southeastern USA
DietOmnivore

One of the animals that eat turtles is the fire ant. Fire ants are very aggressive and will attack anything that they perceive as a threat. This includes turtles! Fire ants will sting and kill turtles, and then eat them. They do this because they need protein to survive.

15. Gar

Gar
Scientific NameLepisosteidae
Type of AnimalFish
RangeNorth and Central America
DietCarnivore

The gar is a fish that eats turtles. This fish is found in North America and can grow up to six feet long! The gar has sharp teeth that allow it to eat turtles easily. This fish also has a strong jaw which allows it to crush the shells of turtles. The gar typically feeds on small turtles, but it has been known to eat larger turtles as well.

16. Ghost Crabs

Ghost Crabs
Scientific NameOcypodinae
Type of AnimalCrustacean
RangeTropical and subtropical regions of the world
DietCarnivore

Ghost crabs are a type of crab that can be found on the East Coast of the United States. These crabs are known to eat turtles, and they often hunt them at night. Ghost crabs have sharp claws that they use to pry open the shells of turtles. They also have strong jaws that allow them to crush the bones of turtles.

Related Article: Do Ghost Crabs Growl?

17. Grackles

Grackles
Scientific NameQuiscalus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America
DietOmnivore

These birds are known to eat turtles, and they will even attack them while they are swimming. The reason why grackles eat turtles is that they are looking for an easy meal. Turtles are slow and don’t put up much of a fight, so the grackles can easily catch and kill them.

18. Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Heron
Scientific NameArdea herodias
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America, Alaska, southern Canadian provinces, Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America
DietCarnivore

Great blue herons are one of the most common predators of turtles. They typically eat small to medium-sized turtles, but they have been known to eat large turtles as well. Great blue herons hunt by standing in shallow water and waiting for their prey to swim by. When a turtle swims by, the heron will quickly snatch it up and swallow it whole.

19. Great White Shark

great white shark
Scientific NameCarcharodon carcharias
Type of AnimalFish
RangeCoastal and offshore waters
DietCarnivore

The great white shark is one of the most well-known animals that eat turtles. Great white sharks are large predators that can grow up to 20 feet in length. They are found in all major oceans and hunt a variety of prey, including turtles. Great white sharks typically eat turtles because they are a great source of protein.

20. Grey Foxes

Gray Fox
Scientific NameUrocyon cinereoargenteus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSouthern North America, south of Canada, Venezuela and Colombia in the north of South America
DietOmnivore

Grey foxes are one of the animals that eat turtles. They mainly prey on small turtles, but they have been known to eat larger ones as well. Grey foxes typically eat turtles for their protein and fat content.

21. Hawks

Hawaiian Hawk
Scientific NameButeo
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCentral America, the West Indies, and Jamaica
DietCarnivore

Hawks are a type of bird that eats turtles. They mainly eat the eggs and hatchlings of turtles, but they will also eat adult turtles if they can catch them. Hawks typically hunt for turtles during the day when they are out in the open. They use their sharp talons to snatch up the turtles and take them back to their nest to eat.

22. Herons

heron
Scientific NameArdeidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeLakes, rivers, swamps, ponds, and the sea
DietCarnivore

Herons are birds that eat a variety of animals, including turtles. They typically eat small turtles, but they have been known to eat larger ones as well. Herons use their long beaks to catch and kill their prey. They then swallow the turtle whole.

23. Hogs 

Warthog
Scientific NameSus scrofa domesticus
Type of AnimalPig
RangeGrasslands, wetlands, rain forests, savannas, scrublands and temperate forests
DietOmnivore

Hogs are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. They mainly eat insects, but they will also eat small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. This includes turtles! Hogs usually find turtles by digging through the mud to look for them. Once they find a turtle, they will eat it whole.

Related Article: How Do Pigs Sleep?

24. Humans

Humans
Scientific NameHomo sapiens
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Although humans are not typically thought of as predators of turtles, they do indeed eat them. In some parts of the world, such as Asia and South America, human consumption of turtles is quite common. Some people believe that eating turtle meat has health benefits, such as increasing strength or helping with fertility. Additionally, turtle soup is considered to be a delicacy in some cultures.

Related Article: What Eats Sharks?

25. Killer Whales

orca
Scientific NameOrcinus orca
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAll oceans
DietCarnivore

Although they are not the only predators of turtles, killer whales are perhaps the most well-known. These massive sea creatures can eat just about anything they want, and turtles are no exception.

Killer whales will typically go after larger turtles, such as those in the turtle family known as Leatherbacks. There are many reasons why killer whales may choose to eat turtles. One reason is that they are a good source of food. Turtles are packed with protein and other nutrients that killer whales need to survive.

26. Largemouth Bass

largemouth bass
Scientific NameMicropterus salmoides
Type of AnimalFish
RangeUnited States, Mexico, South America, and Africa
DietCarnivore

The largemouth bass is a fish that is found in many different parts of the world. This fish is known for its large size and its tasty flesh. The largemouth bass is also known for its predation on turtles. In fact, the largemouth bass is one of the main predators of turtles.

27. Nile Monitor

Nile monitor
Scientific NameVaranus niloticus
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeSub-Saharan Africa
DietCarnivore

The Nile Monitor is a large lizard that lives in Africa. This animal eats turtles and other small animals, such as lizards, rodents, and birds. The Nile Monitor is known for its strong jaws and sharp teeth. It uses these features to kill its prey.

28. Opossums

mouse opossum
Scientific NameDidelphidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth, Central, and South America
DietOmnivore

One of the animals that eat turtles is the opossum. Opossums are found in North and South America, and they are known for their scavenging habits. When an opossum finds a turtle, it will eat the turtle’s meat by digging into the turtle’s shell.

29. Otters

otter
Scientific NameLutrinae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWet habitats, such freshwater rivers, lakes, oceans, coastlines and marshes
DietCarnivore

Otters are a type of animal that eats turtles. They generally eat small turtles, but they have been known to eat larger ones as well. Otters consume turtles for their protein and fat content.

30. Pike

Pike
Scientific NameEsox lucius
Type of AnimalFish
RangeBritain, Ireland, Eastern Europe, Canada and the United States
DietCarnivore

Pike is a type of fish that is known to eat turtles. Pike are predators and they use their sharp teeth to puncture the turtle’s shell. They will then eat the turtle’s flesh.

31. Raccoons

Raccoon sniffing the groud
Scientific NameProcyon lotor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeUS, Canada, Latin America, Mexico and northernmost regions of South America
DietOmnivore

Raccoons are one of the most common animals that eat turtles. Raccoons are predators, and they will eat just about anything they can catch. turtles are easy prey for raccoons because they are slow and cannot defend themselves very well. Raccoons will typically eat the turtle’s flesh and leave the shell behind.

More Examples of Animals that Eat Turtles

  • Red Foxes
  • Red-Winged Blackbirds
  • Ring-Billed Gulls
  • Skunks
  • Snakes
  • Tiger Sharks
  • Turkey Vultures
  • Weasels

Conclusion

There are a variety of animals that eat turtles, for different reasons. Some predators, such as raccoons and coyotes, eat turtles because they are an easy source of food. Other predators, such as alligators and black bears, eat turtles for the same reason they are a good source of protein. Coyotes also eat the eggs of turtles.

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