Do Otters Eat Turtles? (Are Turtles Otter Food?)

Most people would describe otters as cute and playful creatures. But they might not be as cute and nice to the animals these voracious mammals dine.

Otters are carnivore animals and very skillful beasts. Their number one go-to meal is fish. However, they will eat a different variety of aquatic prey, depending on the season and location they live in. I’ve wondered if otters eat turtles as well?

Here is what I’ve learned from researching:

Yes, otters do eat turtles. Otter’s primary food source consists of fish, crabs, crayfish, and different amphibians. Yet, they will sometimes prey on turtles. These furry creatures are carnivore mammals and will take out turtles, birds, rodents, and even snakes if they get the chance.

In this article, we’ll explore what animal species otters may eat, including turtles.

Let’s dive in!

Do otters eat turtles?

Turtles may not be the primary meat source for otters, but if there is a possibility, an otter will kill and eat turtle. Otters are well known to be opportunistic eaters. That being said, in case of fish is unavailable, they will eat different wildlife.

In order to sustain themselves, otters have to eat daily up to 25% of their total body weight. As a result, these vicious predators will spend 5 hours per day detecting and hunting their prey.

How do otters kill turtles?

Otters killing and eating turtles can be quite disturbing. An otter will sneak on the turtle, grab it by its shell, and start eating it alive. When the turtle becomes immobile, an otter will take it on land and complete the meal outside the water.

Do otters eat alligators?

Yes, otters will sometimes kill and eat alligators. Even though it is not as common as eating turtles, otters will once in a while prey on gators. Otters are very strong and agile hunters but to overpower an alligator is quite impressive.

How do otters kill alligators?

To defeat the alligator, the otter will take the reptile’s back and stay as far as possible from its jaw. After a couple of minutes and a back and forth fight, gators will start to gas out.

The longer the fight, the less energy will be in the gator’s tank and its muscles will start filling with lactic acid. More time passes by, the alligator will practically be immobile, as his muscles are no longer functioning.

At that point, the otter will take out the gator on the shore, with no difficulty. An alligator will actually die of lactic acid accumulation and not from bites. On the other hand, there are situations when the alligator comes out as the winner.

What other animals eat turtles?

Snapping turtles live in shallow ponds and streams. A snapping turtle is an omnivore critter and will eat both plant and animal food. They are known to be the heaviest freshwater turtle.

Therfore, adult turtles do not have many predatory animals. Firstly, due to their big size, secondly they have good defensive skills. Yet, there are few animals that kill and prey on snapping turtles:

  • Coyotes
  • American black bears
  • American alligators
  • American snapping turtle

What are otter’s predators?

Otters are very fierce creatures. They are close to being apex predators in almost every habitat where they mix with other animals. Despite that, they are not the most powerful nor the strongest in the wild. For that reason, otters will oftentimes act in numbers to defend themselves.

But every predator is someone’s prey. And that is nature.

Besides humans, who are the number one otter’s predators, here are the main enemies that otters may encounter on land and in water:

  • Eagles
  • Coyotes
  • Bobcats
  • Wolves
  • Bears
  • Whales
  • Sharks
  • Sea Lions

Final thoughts

In conclusion, otters will occasionally eat turtles. When it comes to food, otters aren’t picky eaters. These furry mammals will mostly consume fish, but if they are hungry, they will devour everything they can locate.

These aquatic creatures are amazingly strong for the size. With their powerful bite and razor-sharp claws, they are capable of defeating an alligator.

In the wild, sometimes the cutest looking animals can be the cruelest ones.