The life of a baby sea turtle, also referred to as a hatchling, is a tumultuous one. Once the female sea turtle nests her eggs, she leaves them alone to develop by themselves. Once the eggs hatch and the baby sea turtles emerge, so begins the trek from the nest to the surf. During this trip, the many predators of the baby sea turtle are revealed.
Human beings happen to be one of the main predators of baby sea turtles. Though they are accidentally hooked by fishermen on occasion, most of the danger that humans pose to baby sea turtles is intentional. Not only are the baby sea turtles themselves taken as pets, but so are the eggs. Humans also use baby sea turtles for scientific research.
Though many grow to be 2 inches in width, one of the favorite foods of the ghost crab is the baby sea turtle. Once the turtle hatches, the trek down the beach to the surf makes the hatchling perfect prey for the ghost crab, which is not only often buried in the sand but camouflaged by the beach, as well.
Running on the beach with its owner or on its own, dogs encounter baby sea turtles along the shore. Dogs find baby sea turtles to be a delicious seafood snack just as other predators do. The powerful jaws and many teeth in the mouths of dogs make baby sea turtles both easily edible and digestible.
As they are scavengers, raccoons do more than just toss your garbage cans at night. Since beach areas lined with forests are the perfect home for raccoons, small beach creatures such as baby sea turtles become prey for this woodland creature that scavenges beaches, as well.
Storks, Sea Gulls and Other Birds
Since baby sea turtles are black against white and beige sands, they become prey for flying creatures that spot them from the air. Storks, sea gulls and other birds that peruse food along the beach are all predators to baby sea turtles as they make their way to the surf.
Large Fish and Sharks
Once they arrive at the surf, baby sea turtles now have large fish and sharks to contend with as they are still at risk. The small fluttering limbs of the baby sea turtle are no match for the fish and shark fins that allow these predators to move swiftly upon its prey.