When you look at a tortoise you don’t see any ears
So this leads to the question – Are tortoises deaf?
Can they hear us when we speak to them?
Let’s find out
Tortoises are not deaf rather they can hear but not how humans and other animals hear
Tortoises and turtles don’t hear much.
They only process and respond to a few sound frequencies, especially ones made by mating, hatching eggs, or fighting adults.
This makes sense because they don’t use noise or sounds to talk much.
But they can make sub-sonic noises when traveling through ground or water readily.
Turtles are mostly sensitive to extremely low frequencies, making them expert at hearing low frequency sounds.
This helps them navigate through the water and communicate with each other.
They also use low frequency sounds to attract adult female turtles who protect and guide the hatchlings.
Some people consider turtles deaf because they cannot hear their ears.
However, turtles and tortoise actually do have ears.
Does a tortoise have ears?
Tortoises do not have external ears like many other animals. Instead, they have internal ear openings located on the side of their heads, just beneath their shells.
Their ears are covered with dark spots, and usually their ears are marked with a lighter spot, at the end of their jaws.
Do tortoises hear better than we think they do?
Tortoises don’t hear like humans and listen to sounds more by their frequency.
We can assume why tortoises may respond more to music with a higher base and more significant vibration if we use this knowledge.
They use their sense of smell and vision more than their hearing.
But the hearing they do have allows them to hear the pounding of predators.
Is your tortoise able to hear you?
Tortoises do not hear sounds made by humans; however, they can detect vibrations in the ground caused by footsteps.
They also respond to noises made by predators, such as owls and snakes.
Tortoises are very sensitive to smells, and they are more likely to sense your presence than hear you.
If you feed them and are hungry, they will probably rush over to see you or, more likely, the food when they detect it.
Tortoises have been known to suffer hearing loss when exposed to high levels of noise.
Yes, tortoises are sensitive to loud noises despite hearing not being their most active sense.
Loud bangs or high pitched noises like shouting from a child can cause a tortoise to become stressed.
The younger a tortoise is exposed to unfamiliar noises, the better they will cope with them.
Can I talk to my tortoise?
Your tortoise won’t really talk back to you, and when it comes to nonverbal communication again, there isn’t much you can do.
However, you can provide your tortoise with food, water, and a clean environment.
While tortoises won’t necessarily understand why you remove their feces, they will definitely understand that you feed them and give them water.
For a tortoise, this means everything.
Here are a few helpful pointers on how you can gain their trust quicker.
Tortoises aren’t very fond of being picked up at first, so gently pick them up every once in awhile to show them that you mean no harm.
They will eventually warm up to this behavior and trust you.
Don’t do a lot of sudden moves though, because they might think you are trying to hurt them.
Slowly move forward.
Don’t make any sudden movements.
If you do so they will think you are attacking them and they will be afraid of you.
Most animals only breathe fast when they are doing intense physical activities like fighting, hunting, or running away.
If your tortoise feels that you breathe too quickly they will think that there is danger nearby, or worse that you are a danger to them.
Tortoises are very shy, and can need quite some time to get accustomed to a new environment, or a new person.
So give them time and don’t push too much.
Sometimes even though you do everything you can think of to show your animal friend that you love him/her, he/she just won’t get it.
This might simply be because he/she doesn’t like you.