So Hey Here’s A Turtle Search and Eating a Baby Bird


In the case of the giant turtle, its hunting behavior seems to be a clash of ecological quirks. Terns nest in the trees of Frégate Island, which is both tropical and full of forest. But the land is inhabited by its other predators, such as lizards and crabs. That means the forest floor is lava for any chicks that have yet to fly out of disaster. It is told by natural birds to plant a tree – at all costs. So in the video you can see it backing up the branch when the turtle arrives, instead of just jumping in the trash and getting out. “You have a source of meat, but it’s also something that can’t get away from a turtle – and almost whatever can run faster than a turtle, ”Gerlach said. “Because it’s a tree, it wants to stay on the ground, because the ground is where all the disaster is.”

Video: Anna Zora

The seemingly unfair fight is even more dangerous for the turtle. It had a thick shell to protect its body, but its eyes were exposed. And the chicken pecking like his life depends on it, because it’s so much. “They don’t like the things they’re about to look at,” Gerlach said. “They’re careful about that – it’s just the weak part of them. That’s why this turtle is actually putting itself in danger. ”Losing an eye and living becomes even more difficult – both disappear and you soon die.

It’s not fast food, then and not just opportunistic. The tortoise hunts as if knowing what it is doing, according to Gerlach, supporting the chick until it reaches the edge of the log and tells it the bird’s habits are no longer going on.

But is a turtle’s digestive system still equipped to control the meat? “No one really looked at that,” Gerlach said. “They don’t eat meat – why would you bother to find it?”

However, since some level of scavenging is frequent in vegetable crops, he thinks amino acids and minerals need to be extracted from meat. After all, he says, animal protein is easily digested. “Digging up the plant matter is hard to do,” he says, because plants are made of hard materials like cellulose.

What a tragedy for a chick is actually a good promise for the birds of Frégate Island as a whole, said Gregory Pauly, director of herpetology at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles County, who is not involved in the new paper. This means the birds are back, and the turtles are more than happy to take advantage. “Both turtle numbers and bird numbers in the area this year are a result of habitat destruction, introduced species such as rats and many mammals, and exploitation of man, “he wrote in an email to WIRED. “Thus, the opportunity to observe even predatory interactions such as the one described has not been available to date if the bird population rebounds in habitat restoration efforts.”

How many turtles know how to hunt like this? When did they do it? “We don’t really know if this is just an interesting observation, or if it’s actually a significant improvement in the ecology of the island’s turtles as well as the ecology of the island,” Gerlach said. “That’s why we’re really in the ‘Lots of Questions’ stage.’


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