What Kind Of Creature Needs A Mouth Like This?

On November 16, 2014 by Lazer Horse

Leatherback Turtle mouth teeth

The answer, as surprising as it seems, is the leatherback sea turtle. These creatures are one of the biggest reptiles on earth. They attain their mighty size thanks to their impressive dentures. Leatherbacks don’t chase down huge meaty fish, oh no. They eat jellyfish, and lots of them.

Leatherback Turtle Size next to person

Each jellyfish is an easy catch for the huge and well adapted ocean swimmer, but the problem is, as the name suggests, jellyfish are slippery customers.

Leatherback Turtle Size Human

Once a leatherback has caught a jellyfish, the jellyfish is going to do all it can to escape the grip of the turtle. Row upon row of spiky teeth help the leatherback guarantee that the feast will stay in its gullet. Because it catches virtually every jellyfish it hunts, it can grow to a mighty size and drift about the seas without a care in the world.

The leatherbacks are thought to help control jellyfish numbers globally, but the species is currently in trouble, thanks to humans (of course). To a reptilian eye, a plastic bag floating in the ocean looks pretty similar to a jellyfish, but they’re a lot more toxic and trickier to digest.

Naughty humans.

MORE OCEAN ODDITIES:

THE INCREDIBLY FAST SAILFISH

ALBINO HUMPBACK WHALE PHOTOS

RARE RIVER DOLPHINS

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