Can Snakes Eat Turtle?

Do snakes eat turtles?

There are more than 3,000 species of snakes around the globe and are found in almost every corner of the world. The snake’s range in diverse species with about 600 species being venomous while about 200 species being non-venomous.

The nonvenomous snakes range from the harmless garter snakes to the not so harmless snakes like python which are able to swallow their victims alive.

400;”>Snakes basically kill by striking their prey with venomous poison or squeezing until they eat the whole food in very large portions. 

Snakes are cold-blooded animals which means they regulate their temperature externally and their body is covered in scales.

The scales of a snake serve several purposes which include trapping moisture in an arid climate and reducing friction as the snake moves around.

There are several species of snakes that have been discovered to be scaleless however, they possess scales on their bellies.

How snakes hunt? 

400;”>Snakes have forked tongues which are able to flick in different directions and it helps them to smell their surroundings and know if there is danger or food nearby.

They have several other ways of smelling snack for instance they have openings known as pit holes in front of their eyes that senses the heat given off by warm-blooded animals. They also have bones in their lower jaws that help to pick vibrations from rodents and other scaring animals.

Snakes are able to capture and swallow animals that are three times bigger than their head due to the capability of their lower jaw being able to unhinge from their upper jaw.

Do snakes eat turtles?

Do snakes eat turtles?

Turtles have been on earth for a long period of time even before dinosaurs mostly because they have relatively few predators.

Evolution was very kind to turtles as it provided them with a protective shell-like no other.

There are snakes that are designed to eat other reptiles and they will feed on anything that fits into their mouth.

Most of the herps they eat are soft like frogs, lizards, and other snakes. A snake, if given a chance, will feed on a turtle but it will definitely have a hard time. 

Can they live together?

Snakes and turtles cannot live together in the same tank this is because they can be an equal danger to one another.

The snake may try to eat the turtle and end up hurting itself in the process since the shell of the turtle is not only indigestible but also very hard and bony.

The turtle, on the other hand, might mistake the snake’s tail for food and bite it off.

The major reason as to why turtles cannot live together with snakes is because of the obvious danger they pause on each other. Other reasons include habitat, diet, and nature.


400;”>Snakes shed their skins in a process called ecdysis which makes room for growth as well as getting rid of parasites. Most of the snakes live on land while very few live-in waters.

Most sea snakes pose very little threat to turtles as much as they are venomous due to their shy nature, they are gentle and have short fangs which can do very little damage.

How do snakes eat?

How do snakes eat?

Snakes are carnivorous which means that they are able to eat other animals. Snakes do not have time to chew food hence they must catch their food whole.

Their jaws are structured in a such a way that it detaches from each other thus allowing the mouth to open and swallow the prey whole.

Once swallowed the muscles of the body tend to push the food inward towards the stomach.

Once swallowed the muscles in the body with the help of hook-shaped teeth help to push food towards the stomach.

Snakes digest food for a very long time since they do not chew their food. Poisonous snakes inject venom into the body of their prey which starts digestion. Snakes can feed on rats, birds, eggs, frogs, mice, chipmunks, rodents, insects, earthworms and other snakes.

It is very hard for snakes to feed on turtles due to their size, shape and the shell. Some species of snakes can live in water. There are those that just slide on the surface of the water, others can swim in water while there are those that spend the majority of their life in water.

These snakes have the privilege of feeding on sea turtles since they do not hide their head in their shell however they cannot go past the shell.



Turtles are reptiles which possess a hard shell that helps to protect them against predators. They are the most primitive groups of turtles having evolved millions of years ago.

Although plenty of animals have evolved from invertebrates to mammals have evolved to possessing shells none of them possess an architecture like that of turtles.

There are approximately 356 species of turtles living on land and water.

  • Size 

With the great diversity of turtles, there is no average size. The leatherback is the largest sea turtle and weighs around 600 to 1500 lbs and is about 4.5 to 5.25 feet long.

Galapagos turtles grow up to 6 feet long and 573 lbs. Alligators, on the other hand, are the largest freshwater lakes since they can grow to 2.5 feet and weigh as much as 200 lbs.

Speckled cape tortoise is one of the smallest turtles in the entire world weighing about 5 ounces and with a shell length of 3.1 inches.

  • Shell 

The shell of the turtle comprises a modified ribcage that is part of a vertebral column. The top part of the shell is known as the carascape while the bottom part is known as the plastron.

The turtle’s shell is made up of 60bones which are covered with plates called scutes. Scutes basically are made of keratin, a similar material that makes the human’s fingernails.

Turtles are able to retract their head and feet into their shells.

They are categorized into two suborders mainly cryptodires which draw their heads straight back into their shell and pleurodires which pull their heads sideways. Most sea turtles have lost their ability to retract their heads.

  • Habits 

Turtles are not social creatures and they would never mind if there is no other turtle around them. Most turtles are usually active during the day spending most of their time looking for food.

They are very silent creatures however they make funny noises. Some sound like belching humans, some like electric motors while some bark like dogs.

Turtles lay eggs and they will find a place on earth where they can lay eggs. They will dig a nest on land and then walk away.

There are no species of turtles that natures there young. Turtles reach sexual maturity at different stages where some reach maturity when they are only a few years old while some wait until they are 50 years of age.

  • Diet 

Turtles are omnivorous and they eat a variety of things depending on the species. Some turtles eat plants, mollusks, small fish and insects, the Cooter turtle is vegetarian while the green sea turtle only eats grass and algae.

The alligator turtle lures to fish with its tongue that looks like a warm.

The turtle basically wiggles its tongue in order to attract hungry fish and then snaps it with its jaw.

Difference between snakes and turtles 

Snakes are not the typical pet that you can play with. They are calm and quiet; however, very vicious and sly when provoked. They are cold-blooded animals and prefer to live in a warm climate.

Snakes have to live under certain temperature ranges otherwise the quality of their life will start to depreciate. They range in sizes from very small to very large snakes which are a threat to small prey and other snakes.

Turtles are sweet creatures that seemingly never have the intention of hurting or threatening the lives of other pets.

Caution should be taken when handling turtles since they have a mean bite. Turtles share a similarity with snakes in that they are all reptiles.

Most turtles are found in water and are one of the most important attributes that keep them alive.

On land, they are exposed to a lot of predators. The setting of their habitat depends on how warm or cold the water must be. They spend most of their time in water and mostly reside in small ponds to cool themselves.

In summary, snakes cannot feed on turtles due to a host of factors mentioned above.

The diet of a snake won’t work for a turtle either and vice versa. Snakes feed on rats, mice, rodents and a host of other creatures.

It is recommended to feed snakes that are in captive with pre-killed prey.

In case you are feeding the snake with the turtle, then make sure that the turtle is dead and the shell removed.

Make sure that you seek advice from your local veterinarian before feeding your snakes with a turtle or any meal of whatsoever.

Do you know if snakes eat plants? Find the answer by clicking here.


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