Unique video footage of a giant land turtle hunting shattered the opinion of scientists about its herbivorousness.
The Seychelles giant turtle is a famous vegetarian. However, in unique shots taken on Frigate Island in the Indian Ocean, one of the world’s largest land turtles moves to a tern chick that has fallen out of the nest, grabs it by the head and … swallows it whole.
The species that scientists have always considered herbivorous turned out to be a predator. Justin Gerlach, Ph.D. from Cambridge University, says:
“We knew that sometimes they eat a little meat. Any herbivore eats meat if it stumbles upon it. It’s squirrel. So why shouldn’t they? But still eating a little carrion is not hunting. Not killing prey. So, that this is completely unexpected behavior. She behaves aggressively, and it seems to be intentional. This suggests that the turtle has done this before. “
Frigate Island is home to the second largest colony in the world, home to approximately 3,000 Seychelles giant tortoises. The female of one of them was observed during the hunt by the employees of the nature protection fund of the island of Fregat.
Anna Zora says:
“I remember one of the guys said to me:“ Oh no! We must save the chick! “I stopped him with the words:” Listen, if you were in the savannah and saw a lion running after a gazelle, would you go to save a gazelle? “The principle is the same here. Nature can be cruel.”
Usually sluggish turtles cannot catch their prey. It is likely that now, scientists say, we are witnessing an evolution in their development. Apparently, the giant Seychelles tortoise is tired of eating plants and it has become more interesting to hunt for chicks.