Everyone who has seen Finding Nemo knows how adorable sea turtles are. From their sweet little faces to their adorable flippers, they are definitely a favorite among the sea creature lovers of the world. But did you know they are also great for the oceans and beaches they inhabit?
Sea turtles have been around for 100 million years, so they aren’t new to the environment. They know a thing or two about how the world works, and they have been keeping it balanced for ages. Here are a few of the ways these ocean-dwellers are helping the ecosystem thrive:
Sea turtles are pros at lawn care.
Scattered throughout the ocean floor are beds of sea grass. These beds can provide shelter, food, and even nests for large varieties of fish and other animals. However, just like your front lawn, if they don’t get maintained, they can overgrow and die. But sea turtles are here to save the day! They are one of the few animals that regularly eat this sea grass, like an aquatic lawnmower. They help keep the grass beds healthy and maintained, allowing them to flourish.
Sea turtles litter in the best of ways.
No, they aren’t throwing their soda cans on the beach. When they use beaches and dunes as hatcheries, they leave the shells, nests, and unhatched eggs behind. These are filled with a wide variety of nutrients the beach does not usually have access to. This allows more plants to grow, ensuring the sandy areas remain diverse and have a lot of depth, preventing them from eventually eroding away.
Sea turtles have a taste for jelly.
While sea turtles aren’t fans of PB&J, they do have a special taste for certain jellyfish populations. If the sea turtle was not there to keep the population in check, these jellyfish would multiply in huge number and overrun the beaches they live near. This helps keep the ecosystem balanced, making sure every creature has room to thrive.
Are you interested in helping take care of the sea turtle population while exploring Costa Rica? Check out our open programs in Costa Rica!