Turtle Talk – in Slow Motion

Turtle Talk - in Slow Motion

Technology makes it possible to hear animal communication that has gone unnoticed before. We are finding that animals we thought were silent actually use sounds to communicate with one another. Researchers at the University of Zurich in Switzerland captured sounds from 50 species of turtles, and they varied widely, including grunts, chirps, snorts, and whistles. Male turtles use sounds to woo females and as warnings while fighting with other males. Turtle talk can easily go unnoticed because it is infrequent.

We often think of turtles as being slow. Apparently, that applies to their communication also. Timing is the key. The researchers report that some turtles make a sound every two days or so. That’s probably why it hasn’t been noticed by humans before.

The Creator’s design gives all forms of life a way to communicate with others of their species. That ability is essential for reproductive purposes and allows the full exploitation of food reserves and warnings about enemies. It is obvious that high forms of life, such as monkeys and apes, communicate with sounds, but as science learns more about animal communication, we find surprising things such as turtle talk. God has given all life forms the unique equipment they need to live in varied environments.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

References: SmithsonianMag.com and The Week for December 9, 2022, page 21.