Turtle Time!

Starfish and sea anemones cling to the coral, schools of fish dart through the aquatic city and traffic sways in the ebb and flow of the current. You pass your friend, hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmocheley imbricata) happily munching on a sponge that once was growing on the reef.

Deciding you’ve had enough of the city life, you catch a current out of the city and head to the “country.” There you find a bed of seagrass and begin to graze. When you were little, you didn’t much care for vegetables, but as you got older you began to appreciate their flavor, and now have decided to make up for a lifetime without them by eating them almost exclusively. Snack complete, you swim to the surface of the water for a breath of fresh air before returning to the “coral city” to find a good nook to lodge yourself into for a nice long nap.

What parts of this environment help people to live here?:

Adult green sea turtles are vegetarians (eating seagrass), mature hawksbill sea turtles are omnivorous (eating a variety of foods, but mainly marine sponges) and leatherback sea turtles eat jellyfish. While sea turtles have a variety of dietary preferences, they depend on a healthy ecosystem to support the food sources on which they depend.

A healthy ecosystem is a thriving ecosystem. Unfortunately, in recent years, human pollution has become an increasingly common issue, threatening the health of marine ecosystems. Ecosystems are made up of complicated interactions between biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) entities. The loss of any piece of an ecosystem reduces the ecosystem’s overall stability.

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