The giant tortoise, which is usually a strict herbivore, feeds on the small bird

The giant tortoise, which is usually a strict herbivore, feeds on the small bird

A video filmed on Fregate Island in July 2020 shows a female giant tortoise slowly but surely chasing a baby bird. Moments later, she made a fatal motion with her head and set her jaw around the bird’s head.

Show pictures here (Attention: Not for sensitive viewers)

It is the first time that scientists have been able to capture such an “aggressive” action in front of a camera. “This is a completely unexpected behavior that has never been seen in land turtles,” said island ecologist Justin Gerlach of the University of Cambridge. “The turtle deliberately chases this bird, kills it, and then eats it.”

Previously, giant turtles were believed to be strict herbivores, so they ate only plants. “No one would have thought that species would also eat meat, so why would they? Turtles don’t hunt,” it seems.

reason

Scientists suspect that the giant tortoise’s hunting behavior was caused by the tree-nesting tern colony. The tern is a seabird that has returned in large numbers since its natural habitat was restored on the island. Even chicks that fell from their nests were scattered on the ground.

“So these hunting cases may have happened a lot in the past. It might be a normal behavior that people haven’t seen for hundreds of years,” Gerlach says. “Although it takes animals to hunt for something much more than just eating a plant.” Frigate Island is home to about 3,000 giant tortoises.

See also  More and more children all over the world are attending school, but what are the benefits?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *