CTAHR NEWS

Turtle Food

Turtle Food
Rajesh Jha (HNFAS) is the co-author of a new publication, “Of turtles and trees: Nutritional analysis of tree heliotrope (Heliotropium foertherianum) leaves consumed by green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Hawaiʻi.” Turtles have recently been observed eating leaves that fall from the popular coastal tree called tree heliotrope or octopus bush. These aren’t known to be one of turtles’ usual foods, so the researchers collected the leaves in two seasons and analyzed them for proximate nutrients, including dry matter, ash, crude fat, crude protein, carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio, and gross energy, as well as dietary fibers (ADF and NDF), lignin, and total phenol content. They discovered that the withered leaves were low in protein and fat but high in calories, higher than many other marine food sources for Hawaiian green turtles, and are curious to find out whether turtles are also eating them in other parts of their range. The Star-Advertiser also referenced the paper in a recent article.

Print
1345678910Last