Q:

How do turtles communicate?

A:

Quick Answer

Turtles use low-pitched underwater vocalizations to communicate with each other. Scientists theorize that baby sea turtles in their eggs rely on vibrations to communicate and synchronize their hatching, improving their chances of survival.

Know More

Full Answer

While turtles are able to communicate with each other, they do so rarely and at a frequency difficult for humans to hear, accounting for the long-held belief that turtles are deaf and dumb. To enable better travel through the water, the vocalizations are extremely low-pitched. Turtles do not communicate above water in this manner.

Unfortunately, once captured or domesticated, turtles stop vocalizing. Scientists have witnessed captured turtles continue to vocalize for a few days after being placed in a wading pool, but they unfailingly fall silent afterwards.

The scientist chiefly responsible for discovering how turtles communicate, Richard Vogt, suspected that turtles could vocalize after observing males courting females, noting that their beaks opened and closed without them trying to bite. Another researcher, Gerard Kuchling, points out that the new information greatly impacts scientists' understanding of the effects of noise pollution on turtles, whose lives may be disrupted.

As of 2014, only 40 species of turtles have been recorded making noise. However, Vogt believes that every turtle species communicates through vocalization.

Learn more about Turtles

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do baby turtles hibernate?

    A:

    Whether a baby turtle hibernates depends on the species; typically non-tropical species hibernate, while tropical species don’t hibernate. BoxTurtles.com notes that hibernation is a delicate process that can be fatal if executed improperly; therefore, there’s not a specific age, but certain conditions, that determine when a turtle will begin hibernation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do turtles move?

    A:

    According to Scholastic, turtles differ in their movements based on their terrain. On land, turtles walk on the tip of their toes and move quite slowly, but in water a turtle's smooth shell and webbed feet allow it to move more freely. Some freshwater turtles can even move faster on land than land turtles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a group of turtles called?

    A:

    A group of turtles is called a "bale." Many people use the term "herd" to refer to a group of turtles. No matter what species, all turtles belong to the order Testudines.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do turtles reproduce?

    A:

    Turtle reproduction process begins a couple of weeks before the nesting season. Two or more males may court a female at the same time. They copulate in the water; a few weeks later, the female emerges onto a beach at night to lay and bury between 50 to 200 eggs in the sand. Females nest every two or three years and can lay up to nine clutches each season.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore