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How do turtles communicate?

Qwerty in Baton Rouge asks:

How do turtles communicate? Pheromones?

No — turtlephones. One of the nice things about being a turtle — I don’t know this through personal experience — is that one’s shell provides a handy place to mount various devices that can’t then get lost, as well as plenty of space to affix solar panels. This is why, when you see a turtle, it’s usually sitting on a sunny log, topping off the charges of its electronics, sustainably. Most turtles are very ecologically conscious.



2 thoughts on “How do turtles communicate?”

  1. Wow! Tyler, your response had made me realize the similarities between turtles and Prii (plural of Prius). Do turtle shells also have secret drawers, like Prii (or is it Priora)? — (That’s drawers as in somewhere to hide an old wrapper from a Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll, not drawers such as underwear.)

  2. Someone else suggested by email that the speaker and mic should be on opposite sides to prevent feedback, which does seem to make sense but is apparently just not the custom. I don’t know many turtles, but all of them have them on the same side (as each other — not always on the left as shown here). Next time I see a turtle, I’ll have to ask. It might be a bicameral turtle brain thing.

    I hadn’t really compared Prii to turtles, but it’s true they have some of the same equipment. At least the newer Prii do; I don’t have a mic in mine. Some turtles, like Prii, have rear cameras that show on the heads-up Google Shell™ display. This is not, however, for backing up, which turtles seldom do (it’s easier to just turn in place). They use it to detect whether a gar fish is following them and if so, how closely. Some of them make sort of a game of waiting until the very last second to pull in their extremities. A dangerous game, but life as a turtle doesn’t offer a lot of entertainment possibilities. There was a brief, golden time when Netflix™ could stream movies from StarzPlay, but alas, now it’s mostly dumb TV series, so it’s back to taunting predators for fun.

    If there are any secret drawers, the turtles are keeping them secret. Turtle anatomy limits the number of places such a drawer could be if they’re there for the turtle’s own benefit. There’s no point in having a secret drawer you can’t reach. Someone else would have to open it for you; that wouldn’t be very secret, would it?

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