How Do Sea Turtles Communicate

In this article we talk about sea turtles

The topic we will be covering is – How do sea turtles communicate?

Contrary to whales or seals, sea turtles don’t appear to be the noisiest aquatic creatures.

But most people are unaware that sea turtles can interact physically and acoustically with other turtles as early as possible!

Despite having been around for nearly 120 million years, sea turtles have only been the subject of formal scientific study since 1999.

This is due to the 1950s belief that sea turtles are deaf, which made communication unnecessary.

In actuality, sea turtles have excellent turtle-to-turtle communication skills.

Sea turtles communicate almost entirely nonverbally, using sounds and movements to convey information.

Despite the fact that they are not the talkative of creatures, sea turtles don’t completely ignore one another.

Check out this article to discover everything you need to know about sea turtles and how they communicate 

Let’s get started!

Do sea turtles communicate with one another?

Actually, no.

Sea turtles don’t have vocal cords, like the majority of reptiles, thus they aren’t the noisiest of animals.

It can be a bit perplexing to understand how on earth they can “speak” to each other when they both lack external ears.

The reason why scientists once believed sea turtles were deaf is because of their internal ears.

Once they reach adulthood, sea turtles are primarily solitary creatures with no social interaction requirements.

Their early years as hatchlings are when they communicate the most.

What about hatchlings? How do they communicate?

Hatchlings are born blind and helpless, but within hours of being released into the ocean, they begin swimming towards the shore.

How do they know exactly what direction to swim?

The answer lies in their eyes.

Hatchlings have tiny light receptors called photoreceptors that detect changes in light intensity.

These receptors send signals to the brain, telling it that something is moving in front of the hatchling.

This information helps the hatchling orient itself and move toward the shore.

Hatchlings may create noises in their shells before emerging, according to scientific studies.

Clicks, chirps, clucks, and grunts are some of the noises that are referred to.

It is reasonable to think that they create these noises in order to communicate with one another so they can hatch at the same moment.

They swim together because predators are less likely to attack the stragglers when they travel together as a group.

This may also be the reason why there are frequently early hatchlings at the nest’s base.

These hatchlings probably heard their sibling’s noises and hatched far earlier than necessary.

Once they are in the ocean, though, they are somewhat on their own with numerous predator risks.

How do adult sea turtles communicate?

In contrast to when they are hatchlings, adult sea turtles spend much of their time alone and don’t need to communicate with other turtles.

However, it is known that during the nesting season, female sea turtles (more especially, Leatherbacks) make noises with other females.

Grunting, breathing, and pumps are some of the sounds recorded.

Given that other sea turtles haven’t made these sounds, it is assumed that they are the typical noises made by female sea turtles during the nesting season, when they are laying their eggs and concealing their nest.

A specific instrument is needed to record the silent, low-frequency noises generated by sea turtles.

Is it true sea turtles are deaf?

Is it true that sea turtles are deaf if they have internal ears?

Actually, no.

Remember that even though they don’t have external ears, they don’t need to listen for anything because they don’t have voice cords in the first place.

Instead, they use vibrations to “listen.”

Turtles are known to communicate through vibrations.

Snakes also rely heavily on hearing, however, not being able to hear means they must rely on other senses to communicate.

We can infer that female turtles communicate with their young and other female turtles through sensing vibrations because scientists have claimed that noises are made during the hatching process.

Even though they primarily rely on vibrational detection, they are nevertheless capable of hearing.

Incredibly low frequencies between 200 and 750 Hz have been demonstrated by scientists to be audible to turtles, and this range is probably where they hear and communicate the most frequently.

Physical Communication 

Turtles communicate through various methods, including flashing lights, honking sounds, and even water spraying.

During the mating season, some species of turtles squirt water at each other playfully.

This behavior is known as “water fighting.”

Male turtles have a tendency to become aggressive competitors.

Nothing will stop a male turtle from biting the tail or flippers of another male turtle who is trying to mate with the female they choose in an effort to unseat him.

Despite their typically non aggressive nature toward people, sea turtles will make grunting noises and other behavioral cues when they feel threatened.

The most frequent type of sea turtle to grunt audibly at people when they see them in the wild is the leather back turtle.

They are also known to attack divers.

Wrapping Up

Despite what you would think, sea turtles can communicate with one another.

Sea turtles have developed alternate means of communication due to the absence of voice chords and internal hearing.

There is still a vast amount of research being done today to determine how much turtles communicate, as scientists have only recently learned that sea turtles are not deaf.

Especially during the mating season, it has been hypothesized that sea turtles mostly communicate non verbally.

But because they tend to live alone, they don’t require much interaction with other people.


Leave a Comment