In this article we’re going to talk about – Are turtles smart?
When we think of turtles we think of slow moving reptiles
They just move slowly and munch on plants or food!
But is there more to that?
Are they actually clever?
In short – Turtles are not stupid at all. They have instincts that contribute to their survival skills, and they’ve also been shown to retain memories and learn from past experiences.
Pretty interesting right?
It gets even more interesting in this article so carry on reading!
Do Turtles Have Brains?
Yes, turtles do indeed have brains.
They just don’t think they do.
Turtles have been around since the Triassic period, but they didn’t evolve until much later.
Their brain has no cortex, meaning there’s nothing like a human brain.
There are only seven types of neurons in a turtle’s brain, compared to over 80 billion in humans. And instead of having a hippocampus, turtles have something called the pallium.
It’s a part of the reptile brain that controls instinctual behaviors.
Can You Train Turtles?
Turtles have brains so they are able to learn from experiences.
This makes it possible to teach them many skills similar to teaching other household pets, such as dogs.
Using treats as incentives can make this process easier for both you and your pet.
For example, turtles typically have smaller brains than lizards do, which means they won’t learn tricks quite as quickly.
However, this does not mean that they cannot learn at all.
In fact, many species of turtles have been known to master complex tasks, such as opening doors.
Turtles are able to learn when it is feeding time through their internal clocks, helping them regulate their bodies and health.
This makes turtles important factors to reducing the occurrence of stress.
Can a Turtle Recognize You?
Turtles do indeed recognize us.
They associate us with food, which means they see us as a source of sustenance.
So yes, on some level they recognize us and the benefits of having us around. And, like dogs, they can often pick out individual faces.
However, unlike dogs, they don’t seem to care much for human company unless there is something useful to eat involved.
Can Turtles Solve Problems?
Turtles are intelligent animals capable of solving complex tasks like locating hidden foods.
They do this through trial and error learning.
Your pet turtle probably won’t try to find its dinner plate, but he’ll learn to recognize objects around him and figure out what he needs to do next.
He might look at something and say, “I think I should put my foot here.”
Then he puts his front feet down and tries again.
Eventually, he figures out that putting his front legs together works well for pushing himself forward.
Once he gets going, he learns quickly and easily.
Do Turtles Have Feelings?
Many people wonder if animals like turtles and tortoises can feel pain.
The answer to this is of course they do!
These shell-covered creatures are capable of experiencing both physical and emotional pain.
Turtles and tortoises often wince when they’re injured, and they suffer greatly when separated from family members.
Feelings of sorrow, feelings of loneliness and grief are pretty painfully obvious
You see turtles are capable of experiencing emotion.
They just don’t express those emotions like humans do.
Their emotional range is limited to feeling frustration if they’ve been searching for food for a long period of time.
Related article – Are turtles aggressive?
So are turtles smart?
They are smarter than you think
They’re not just slow moving reptiles (Related article – Why do turtles move so slow?)