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:

    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 do snapping turtles eat?

    A:

    Snapping turtles eat fish, invertebrates, reptiles, ambphibians, eggs, insects, small mammals, plant matter, mollusks and carrion. The snapping turtle is an omnivore and likely to eat anything that it can handle. It may even eat other turtles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some facts on snapping turtles?

    A:

    Snapping turtles live in shallow, freshwater bodies throughout North America. Two types exist, the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle. Common snapping turtles can be found in water bodies throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico. Alligator snapping turtles are only indigenous to parts of Florida, Missouri, east Texas, Kansas, Indiana and Kentucky.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Are turtles amphibians?

    A:

    Turtles are not classified as amphibians. Turtles are classified as reptiles like tortoises, snakes, lizards and alligators. A few common amphibians include frogs, newts, toads and salamanders.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore