Do turtles live in groups? How do they communicate among themselves?

Written by Dr. Chen Pelf Nyok

Dr. Chen is the co-founder of Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia. She currently heads the community-based River Terrapin Conservation Project in Kemaman, Terengganu, Malaysia.

25 Oct 2009

Turtles are mostly solitary creatures, so not much is known about how they communicate with each other. However, most are territorial and aggressive if with others. They prefer to have their space. However, they do seem to use some form of communication during the breeding season. For example, some species will travel together to the breeding ground to mate. Additionally, some turtles will use a variety of methods to try and attract a mate, including head-bobbing, biting the female’s legs, or use different leg movements while facing the female.

Some turtle species can detect an enemy by sensing the vibrations in water. They also have excellent sight and sense of smell.

You may also like…
Why do sea turtles return to the beach that they were hatched from?

Why do sea turtles return to the beach that they were hatched from?

Studies have discovered that female turtles demonstrate natal homing behaviour in that they always return to the exact location where they were hatched to mate and lay their own eggs whereas the male turtles almost never return to the same beach once they leave the sand of their natal beach.

Do sea turtles communicate among themselves?

Do sea turtles communicate among themselves?

Sea turtles do communicate but their communication is scarce as there is a lesser need to communicate between each other because most of them are solitary. Perhaps their communication is considered as adequate as they have survived millions of years until today.

Do turtles have teeth?

Do turtles have teeth?

Have you ever wondered whether turtles have teeth? It is surprising to know that today’s turtles including freshwater turtles, sea turtles, terrapins and tortoises are the only reptiles that do not possess any teeth.

6 Comments

  1. ooh..just like d one in finding nemo. do they really travel via the ‘east australian current’?

    Reply
  2. and i was wondering if they make any kind of noise/sound underwater…

    Reply
  3. It would be interesthing to throw my hydrophone next to a turtle for a week to see if we can get any form of temporal patterning for any souds produced by the turtles.

    If yes, then we have some thing very intresthing.. might have a chat session using turtle language in the future.

    would love to test out my hydrophone for this cause.. hehe

    Reply
    • that’s what i was thinking of as well!

      Reply
  4. am wondering how do turtles know that it’s the season for them to breed? what’s their calendar look like though =p

    Reply
  5. Since turtles can sense vibrations in water, it is highly likely be able to “hear” / pickup sounds around it. for sound = a form of travelling wave.

    There could be a range of sounds that the turtle will likely be able to pick up. They could be able to use ultrasounds or infrasounds as a form of communication. Outside our human hearing capabilities.

    Something worth looking into.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *