Esophagus of Leatherback turtles showing backward pointing spikes. Adult leatherback sea turtles subsist almost entirely on jellyfish. Jellyfish are pretty slippery, you see, and the razor-sharp rows of papillae prevent them from slipping out of the turtle's mouth.
Mouth of leatherback sea turtle showing spines that point twords stomach. These are used to hold onto their prey - jellyfish. During the summer months, the turtles eat around 73 per cent of their own body weight every day, packing in around 16,000 calories! Leatherbacks are the largest of all turtles, growing to 9 feet and over 1500 lbs!
The inside of a Leatherback Turtle's mouth: The esophagus of a leatherback sea turtle is lined with papillae, sharp, keratinized prongs that enable the turtle to dine on jellyfish. They prevent the jellyfish from escaping and protect the turtles from sting cells
Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) (Mouth) "Instead of teeth, the leatherback turtle has points on the tomium of its upper lip, with backwards spines in its throat to help it swallow food and to stop their prey escaping once caught.