What Do Turtles Eat?

what what do turtles eat

No matter if they are vegetarians, carnivores or omnivores, turtles require variety in their diets. Turtles enjoy the challenge of searching out food sources, while needing to consume new things on an ongoing basis.

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Aquatic turtles in the wild primarily eat fish – including those purchased at pet stores – earthworms, snails and beetles as well as greens, fruits and flowers.



Like any animal, turtles require a diet rich in proteins. While some turtles such as the box turtle prefer an omnivorous approach, other varieties prefer meat-rich meals while still taking pleasure from veggies, fruits and flowers as part of their daily meals.

Some may suggest feeding their turtle crickets or mealworms, but this may be difficult on its stomach. Instead, offer dried insects or combine fresh and dry food items – this will be easier on both their stomachs as well as help preserve nutrients.

Most turtles eat commercial turtle food as well as various plants and insects, fruit, and fish; it is best to steer clear of dairy as turtles lack the enzymes required to digest it properly, potentially leading to severe digestive distress. Turtle meat ranges in flavor from fishy to beefy reminiscent of veal.


Most aquatic turtles are omnivorous and will consume both animal proteins and vegetables; however, some species of turtles are strict carnivorous, feeding solely on animal protein.

Young turtles generally require more meat than older ones; adults should consume a more vegetarian-based diet.

Turtles eat vegetables such as collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, endive, romaine lettuce and mustard greens; in addition they consume carrots squash and cantaloupe.

As for fruits, box turtles particularly enjoy strawberries. Apples and pears may also be given, though beware as many contain chemicals which could harm your turtle. Also be wary when giving fresh or frozen fish because these may contain parasites and bacteria which could affect their health.


Most turtle species are herbivorous or omnivorous, depending on their environment and availability of food sources. However, a majority of their diet should consist of leafy greens such as lettuce, kale and cabbage.

Fruit is an important and healthy addition to a turtle’s diet, providing calcium, fiber and multiple vitamins as essential components. Peaches should only be fed sparingly due to their high sugar content.

Keep turtles away from foods containing added salt as they may have difficulty digesting it properly. Furthermore, avoid feeding your turtle anything fried as these could contain excess oils and fats that could negatively impact its health.


Baby turtles need a nutritious diet consisting of both plant and animal foods – this starts with their mother turtle’s eggs!

As part of its nesting process, female turtles must first ascend to a beach and search for suitable nesting sites before urinating on the soil to soften it and enable easier digging. After creating a body pit she then begins creating an egg chamber using her rear flippers.

Carnivorous turtles feed on fish, worms and snails while omnivorous species enjoy snacking on grasses, flowers, fruit, insects, slugs and beetles in the wild. When feeding baby turtles at home, experts advise offering a balanced diet including meat, green vegetables and fruit as primary foods followed by special treats as additional nourishment.


Most turtles are omnivorous; however, their diet varies depending on the environment they inhabit. Marine turtles possess jaws and beak shapes designed to allow them to feed on sea cucumbers, jellies, algae, shellfish, fish and more.

Feeder fish may provide protein for your turtle’s diet, but beware that they often carry harmful bacteria and parasites as well as having sharp bones which could potentially cause internal injuries if consumed whole by it.

An aquatic turtle’s diet should include vegetables, fruits and plant-based proteins to provide essential vitamins and minerals. You must ensure all food you give to your turtle is free from chemicals, pesticides, bacteria or any other contaminants before giving it to them.