Are Sea Turtles Aggressive? [Examining The Evidience]

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Many people assume sea turtles are gentle and shy animals. Sure, these majestic creatures like to stay away from the locality, minding their own business. But are the sea turtles harmless? Well, I have my doubts.

Sea turtles are peaceful creatures. But these turtles act violently if anything poses a threat to them. For example, touching them or messing with their nests can scare them. Hence, the species can attack the opponent without thinking.

Want evidence? Keep reading.

Sea Turtle Temperament: Are They Aggressive?

See, marine turtles are harmless as long as they get their privacy. But sea turtles become hostile if a human, predator, or even fellow turtle breaches the boundary. Sometimes the turtles approach humans out of sheer curiosity.

These creatures will also show aggression during the mating or nesting period. Moreover, fights among sea turtles often take place over the foraging ground.

Marine turtles always have an advantage in any chaos in water due to their bulky body. Not to mention the fast swimming speed the sea turtles acquire when in the ocean.

So, beating the smaller opponents becomes obvious. But sea turtles struggle to fight bigger and stronger predators like tiger sharks.

Do Sea Turtles Bite?

Biting the opponent, whether a human or a predator, is the primary self-defense for sea turtles.

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Let me warn you beforehand. Sea turtle bites are more dangerous and hurt more than you can imagine. Allow me to give you a hint.

Marine turtles have bulky figures, which is why their bites are stronger. According to some resources, adult sea turtles can produce 500 lbs of force during one bite. This is enough to chop off fingers or toes and break human bones.

Unbelievable! Right?

But the astonishing part is that the sea turtles have no teeth. Yes, just like aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles, these creatures grow up without teeth. So, how do they manage to bite? Simple, with beaks.

Marine turtles have a razor-like beak, sharp enough to prey on other animals. Their beaks have similar features to the birds.

But hey! Not every sea turtle has a horny beak, but only the carnivorous one. Herbivorous marine turtles, on the other hand, have a flat and rounded beak, perfect for chewing plants and vegetation.

Apparently, you can ignore the painful bites of sea turtles. Follow the tips mentioned in this article to defend yourself.

Do Sea Turtles Attack Humans? Solid Evidence

News of marine turtles attacking tourists on the beach and even in water are no new. In 2022, a Russian woman learned the dark side of sea turtles the hard way.

She was up for a swim in the Guzeolaba, a Mediterranean resort. During the enjoying hour, one loggerhead sea turtle suddenly sunk its beak in her backside and drew her underwater.

Another horrific incident took place in 2015. An enormous Kemp Ridley’s sea turtle allegedly swallowed a marine turtle expert. I know it sounds impossible, but the eyewitness thoroughly described this deadly incident.

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Again, another attack of sea turtles on the sunbathers surfaced in 2019. Here, 2 sea turtles approached the tourist without any notice.

Such incidents of sea turtles taking a toll on humans are quite common. It mostly occurs when tourists go snorkeling. The sea turtles often come closer to the diver and initiate an attack.

Are Sea Turtles Aggressive Towards Other Turtles?

Like other turtle species, the sea turtles also lead a solitary life. But for the necessity of the situation, these turtles sometimes move in groups.

Fights over the territory are also common for marine turtles. Generally, sea turtles get aggressive towards each other for the foraging grounds. The hostility helps the turtles to win the land.

Moreover, both the male and female sea turtles act violently during the mating season. The adult male marine turtles will approach the females for copulation.

If the female gives her consent, the couple gets involved in mating. The whole session takes hours, and the pair behave aggressively towards each other during that time.

Finally, the nesting or mother sea turtle may attack other turtles or humans to protect the eggs. Call them overprotective, but it is an instinct.

Why Do Sea Turtles Behave Aggressively?

Of course, sea turtles are shy and prefer leading a private life. Then why do we hear so many reports of these turtles’ hostile behavior?

Well, the marine turtles will stay calm as long as you are not ruining their peace. See, the ocean is the living space for sea turtles and thousands of other species. When you enter their zone, the turtles can be a little disturbed.

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People often take the boat in the middle of the sea and party at full volume. Again, some adventure enthusiasts misbehave with marine turtles during the snorkeling tours.

Acts like these scare sea turtles and make them feel insecure. These creatures then see humans as threats. Hence, the next time, the marine turtles stay alert and attack the humans if necessary.

Before You Go

Sea turtles mostly get aggressive because of their privacy invasion. No wonder why it is illegal to touch or disturb these marine creatures. More on this is discussed in the attached article below.

Can You Touch Sea Turtles?

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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