Today, plastic pollution of the Earthexceeded the worst expectations of scientists. More than 90% of seabird species already feed on plastic. This happens because at least 10% of all plastic products produced are in the oceans. For example, seahorses often take cotton buds for algae, and in Thailand, not so long ago, they found a dead whale with 8 kg of plastic debris in its stomach, but now this problem has hit sea turtles.
What do sea turtles eat?
Sea turtles swim and dive perfectly. These slow-moving reptiles can be found in the tropical and some subtropical regions of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. The largest number of sea turtles live in the Caribbean, on the coasts of Indonesia, Australia and Mexico. They can also be found on the Seychelles and some US coasts.
Two families stand out among sea turtles: Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae. The Cheloniidae family is divided into six species, and Dermochelyidae has only one.
More amazing facts about the inhabitants of the deep sea can be found on our channel in Yandex.Zen.
Although some species existindividual food cravings, mainly sea turtles, feed on crustaceans, algae, fish and shellfish. These floating reptiles love coral reefs. Unfortunately, quite often it is there that they find plastic that they take for food.
What is harmful plastic?
Recent research has shown thatblack trash bags, fishing rope fragments and plastic food nets confuse turtles. On the shores of Cyprus, researchers found turtles that got entangled in fishing nets. In total, scientists examined 19 turtles. Plastic debris is found in the stomach of each of them. One of the turtles mistakenly ate 183 pieces of plastic.
Scientists believe that small turtles consumemore plastic. This is due to the fact that they are not as experienced as large turtles, and therefore can take for food what is not. Specialists drew attention to turtles after a number of previous studies showed that leatherback turtles ate plastic, similar to jellyfish.
Researchers note that when choosing foodsea turtles are guided by the size, color and shape of the food. This was shown by the results of a recent study. By comparing plastic found in the stomach of turtles with plastic waste on beaches and coasts, it became apparent that turtles prefer plastic threads of green or black.
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According to scientists it is necessary to have an idea aboutthe exact type of plastic that sea turtles eat. The data obtained can motivate the public, and especially manufacturers of plastic products, to consume and produce less plastic. Otherwise, we simply lose many species living with us on the same planet.
Note that the situation with plastic debris is so critical that some stones disguise themselves as plastic, and microplastic is present in the air we breathe.
In fact, each of us can make our owncontribution to the fight against pollution of the planet. Sorting garbage along with less consumption of plastic products can give life to a sea turtle, a whale and even a seahorse.
Do you sort the trash?