How do sea turtles communicate?


Quick Answer

Research proposes that 47 or more sea turtle species communicate using a form of sound. The purpose of making the sound is to state their social standing, find the location of other turtles or create reproductive signals.

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Full Answer

Sea turtles begin communicating in their eggs before they hatch. Researchers observed leatherback sea turtle eggs in Mexico and detected 300 different sounds from them. They conducted their research on day 51, which is when the turtles' ears were developed. It is important for baby turtles to learn how to communicate early, because the adults use the noises to show them where to migrate upon hatching. Turtles use chirps, grunts and complicated hybrid sounds to relate to one another. Noise pollution, such as ship traffic, can confuse the babies and cause them to stray from the intended migration path.

Evidence shows that placing sea turtles in captivity sometimes causes them to stop communicating, which can put their lives in danger or prevent them from reproducing. Sea turtles generally nest in secluded areas. However, when these areas become inhabited by people, the sea turtles are put at risk. One way to save the dwindling population of sea turtles is to create conservation areas for them where they can breed and live in their natural habitat away from humans and other threats.

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