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Diet and Predators

Although they are omnivorous, hawksbills tend to feed mostly on sponges and are one of the few vertebrates that do. Sponges are poisonous to many marine creatures and they not edible to many others due to the fact a large portion of the sponge body is composed of tiny, glass-like particles called spicules. How they survive consuming the spicules and poisons is not fully by scientists. Most creatures seen feeding on sponges have adaptations that protect them from spicules, however hawksbills do not.

Hawksbills may also eat algae that grows on the reef, although it prefers grasses and other plants from the bottom of the ocean as well as from grass beds that float at different depths. Coral reefs are the resident foraging grounds and caves of reef systems provide these turtles with shelter for sleeping everyday. Hawkbills also consumes small animals and sometimes the dead remains of marine creatures.

The fatality rate from eating hawksbill flesh is high, which is why it is not eaten often; it does not have distinct or many predators.

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