Like something out of Alien! Gruesome footage reveals the small spikes that cover the inside of a loggerhead turtle’s throat
- Covered in spikes, turtle’s throat looks like something from a horror film
- But despite looking bizarre the oesophagus is actually incredibly clever
- Small spikes, called papillae, act as a sieve to stop food exiting with water
If you have ever wondered what the throat of a loggerhead sea turtle looks like then look no further.
Gruesome footage was posted to Instagram and shows the oesophagus which is filled with seemingly endless papillae – the small spikes that look like teeth.
In the video Laura Castanon, who uploaded the footage, performs a necropsy with colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
Yuck: Covered in small spikes, the oesophagus is extremely gruesome and resembles the mouth of a lamprey
The unfortunate turtle was found already dead after it became stranded in cold weather in Cape Cod, according to Nerdist.
Ms Castanon has uploaded other pictures of the various stages of the medical examination on her Instagram page.
But without doubt the most eye-catching and visually disturbing image is the view of the throat.
Covered in spikes, the oesophagus resembles something from a horror film and as Ms Castanon opens it with her fingers bits of food start flying out.
Purpose: Spikes act as a sieve and prevent food from escaping the turtle’s mouth when it goes to spit out water
Adding to the disturbing footage is the fact that bits of food are regurgitated during the medical examination
Despite being ugly however the loggerhead’s throat is actually incredibly clever and the papillae play a very important role in the life of the animal.
Helping the turtle to break down its food, the spikes also act as a sieve and prevent sustenance from escaping its mouth when it goes to spit out water.
Loggerhead sea turtles are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea.
And in addition to its papillae the turtle also has an extremely strong jaw, capable of taking down relatively large prey.
Loggerhead sea turtles are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea (file photo)