Loggerhead turles not only eat crabs, but play with them too!
Marmaris, Turkey – In all my travels I have seen hundreds of sea turtles. I’ve even swam with a few, but I’ve never actually understood how playful they can be.
That I discovered on a recent trip to Turkey.
Our boat at anchor near Turtle Beach, Turkey
We were sailing along the Agean coast of Turkey and decided to do a little sightseeing at a place called Turtle Beach. We heard there were a lot of Loggerhead turtles there.
In a lagoon behind the beach were some crab fishermen, who sell blue crabs to people passing through (kinda like us!).
We were looking at some of the crabs when I noticed one of the guys had a crab on the end of a fishing line and was using it to attract sea turtles.
The turtles were definitely loggerheads. They have very strong jaws and love to use those jaws to crush crabs for a nice meal.
But was he trying to catch the sea turtles, or just give them treat? I didn’t know.
The crab man could see how intently I was watching this so he offered the line to me. But as soon as I took over the line, the turtles went away! They wouldn’t even come close.
It was actually kind of embarrassing. (In the video below you can watch my embarrassment in living color)
Finally, I gave up and handed the guy back his fishing line. But as soon as I did that, the turtles came back.
And this made we wonder, what the hell was really going on here?
On a hunch I pulled out my Gopro underwater camera, and stuck it in the water (also in the video).
I could see the turtles come up and get their powerful jaws onto the crabs, but then for unknown reasons they would just let them go.
I’m not a scientist, but I think it’s pretty obvious what was really going on here. These sea turtles and crab fisherman, who obviously know each other well, are just enjoying themselves like kids at the beach. They’re are just playing to have a good time.
Amazing! Who would have guessed that man and turtle could develop a relationship like that.
And that my friends brings me to the question of the day. Do you think there are other wild creatures (other than dolphins) in the ocean that like to play with humans? If so, let me know which ones by popping over to my youtube channel and joining the discussion there. Just CLICK HERE NOW
Bill taking a swim in the exellent waters of the Agean