Can Torts Hear?

Gillian M

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Hello everyone. Am still undecided whether to believe that a tort can/cannot hear.

I remember we learnt at school that crawling animals do not HEAR, but feel vibrations. When I got Oli I confirmed this: I would make any sound, to see no reaction whatsoever. I have also done a lot of research on the net. Some say that torts have inner ears and can hear, whilst others say what I mentioned above. Am still confused. Would like to hear from you people who own torts and deal with them daily.

Thank you.
 

thehowards

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When I catch my Thor trying to eat dog poo I can yell across the yard and he looks at me every time and sometimes he will walk away and listen to me. I say no caca idk if torts can be trained but it seems like he listens when he want to lol.
 

SteveW

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Hello everyone. Am still undecided whether to believe that a tort can/cannot hear.

I remember we learnt at school that crawling animals do not HEAR, but feel vibrations. When I got Oli I confirmed this: I would make any sound, to see no reaction whatsoever. I have also done a lot of research on the net. Some say that torts have inner ears and can hear, whilst others say what I mentioned above. Am still confused. Would like to hear from you people who own torts and deal with them daily.

Thank you.


Yes, they can hear. Better underwater, it turns out.
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0054086
 

Gillian M

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When I catch my Thor trying to eat dog poo I can yell across the yard and he looks at me every time and sometimes he will walk away and listen to me. I say no caca idk if torts can be trained but it seems like he listens when he want to lol.
There's definitely a lot of conflicting info, here. You seem to think torts do hear, right? I have a feeling they do not hear.Talking from what I experienced with Oli.

I don't think they can be trained.I have tried time and once again to train Oli NOT to entre my bedroom. I only wasted time and energy.
 

leigti

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There's definitely a lot of conflicting info, here. You seem to think torts do hear, right? I have a feeling they do not hear.Talking from what I experienced with Oli.

I don't think they can be trained.I have tried time and once again to train Oli NOT to entre my bedroom. I only wasted time and energy.
I sort of thought we've beat this dead horse. Towards Ken here, not quite the same as humans but they can hear. It is more like they feel vibrations. And tortes can be clicker trained. Zoos do it with the large tortoises for vet procedures. Look it up.
 

Big Charlie

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When my son was little, I thought he was partially deaf because often he wouldn't react to sounds. I actually stood behind him and clapped, and there was no reaction. We took him to have his hearing tested. Since he was so young, they couldn't give him the kind of hearing test where he would respond to indicate he had heard, so the tester watched his reactions intently. At first, the tester saw reactions and heavily praised my son. It didn't take long for my son to figure out how to not show any reaction at all. They had to end the test as they weren't getting anywhere. His hearing was fine; he just chose when he wanted to react.

I think Charlie hears me when I call, and that is why he comes, but maybe he sees me first. I don't think you can train a tortoise to not do tortoise things. I couldn't train him to walk around things rather than through them. Coming when I call and following me is about the extent of his obedience, and he is probably only doing those things because he wants to.

I was never able to train my cats to stay out of my bedroom. That's why I kept the door shut. Then I got this device that sprayed something when they got near the door and that kept them away. Some rabbits can be potty-trained but mine wouldn't. Some cockatiels can be trained to talk but mine wouldn't.
 

Gillian M

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When my son was little, I thought he was partially deaf because often he wouldn't react to sounds. I actually stood behind him and clapped, and there was no reaction. We took him to have his hearing tested. Since he was so young, they couldn't give him the kind of hearing test where he would respond to indicate he had heard, so the tester watched his reactions intently. At first, the tester saw reactions and heavily praised my son. It didn't take long for my son to figure out how to not show any reaction at all. They had to end the test as they weren't getting anywhere. His hearing was fine; he just chose when he wanted to react.

I think Charlie hears me when I call, and that is why he comes, but maybe he sees me first. I don't think you can train a tortoise to not do tortoise things. I couldn't train him to walk around things rather than through them. Coming when I call and following me is about the extent of his obedience, and he is probably only doing those things because he wants to.

I was never able to train my cats to stay out of my bedroom. That's why I kept the door shut. Then I got this device that sprayed something when they got near the door and that kept them away. Some rabbits can be potty-trained but mine wouldn't. Some cockatiels can be trained to talk but mine wouldn't.
Hi. That's strange to hear; that cat cannot be trained. I was told that cats a,d of course dogs can be trained to do/not to do a lot; unlike a tort.
 

Keith D.

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I believe from my observations and every day interactions with my torts that they hear quite well, I guess you just have to understand tortoises before you can determine this though especially if they are hard headed lol. Torts have a mind if there own but can be trained, I have had DTs and sulcatas that I have trained to use dog potty pads and to use a doggy door to go in and out of the house.
Big Charlie has a thought going though, like he said some dogs, cats, rabbits and birds can and are willing to be trained, some just take longer then others and some you just have to be smarter then to get them to train, like SPs if theybthink they are smarter then the trainer they won't listen. I have trained rabbits to use a litter box numerous times, I have trained a cat to play fetch like a dog and use the human toilet, all of my dogs ring a bell I have by my front door when they want to go outside and have trained a female cockatiel (which is very difficult) to talk and whistle. Its all about repetitive actions and praise. People say torts brains dont function like other animals but from my observations those people are probably wrong. Just my opinion :)
Oh and torts have incredible eyesight as well and can see in color.
 

Alaskamike

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There is a bit of confusion in the literature on this.

Their ears are constructed a bit different that ours , however hearing is nothing more that the interpretation by our brain of vibration in the inner ear.

The tortoise ear is not as complex as ours , but there is no reason to think the can't interpret different vibrations in their ear as different things - good and bad.

They can associate certain vibrations ( like a clicker ) with certain events ( like a treat ). This has been proven.

They also react to modulations in a voice. Which means they can associate a specific sound with their owner ( food God )
 

Rutibegga

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They also react to modulations in a voice. Which means they can associate a specific sound with their owner ( food God )

Am 99.99% certain that my tort has already made this association in the month I've had him. Not only that, but I think he knows my voice from my partner's (I am sole feeder/fun creator for Troggy).
 

Big Charlie

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I believe from my observations and every day interactions with my torts that they hear quite well, I guess you just have to understand tortoises before you can determine this though especially if they are hard headed lol. Torts have a mind if there own but can be trained, I have had DTs and sulcatas that I have trained to use dog potty pads and to use a doggy door to go in and out of the house.
Big Charlie has a thought going though, like he said some dogs, cats, rabbits and birds can and are willing to be trained, some just take longer then others and some you just have to be smarter then to get them to train, like SPs if theybthink they are smarter then the trainer they won't listen. I have trained rabbits to use a litter box numerous times, I have trained a cat to play fetch like a dog and use the human toilet, all of my dogs ring a bell I have by my front door when they want to go outside and have trained a female cockatiel (which is very difficult) to talk and whistle. Its all about repetitive actions and praise. People say torts brains dont function like other animals but from my observations those people are probably wrong. Just my opinion :)
Oh and torts have incredible eyesight as well and can see in color.
My cat played fetch too! I didn't teach him to play fetch. He just did it because he liked getting the stick before my old dog could. If he couldn't pick it up, he would guard it to keep it away from the dog.

My other cat loved to play hide and seek; I mean really! She would tag me and then run and hide. If I didn't come looking, she would creep out to see where I was and then when she saw me, she went back and hid. When I found her, she loved to get cuddles. Cats can be trained to do tricks; just look at youtube, but it is almost always easier to train dogs.

It is obvious to me that Charlie can see in color. He always heads to green things. He has two water dishes and he prefers the green one. If he is eating something and drops it on the ground, he doesn't try to pick it up. I don't know if it because he doesn't see it or if he forgets about it immediately.
 

Merrick

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I call my cousin's torts in for feeding it is like a really loud whistle to them it is their dinner bell and they come running over
 

Gillian M

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I call my cousin's torts in for feeding it is like a really loud whistle to them it is their dinner bell and they come running over
Hi. So you think they can hear? I am beginning to think they cannot. I just do not see any reaction to any sound/noise from Oli.
 

Pearly

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When I catch my Thor trying to eat dog poo I can yell across the yard and he looks at me every time and sometimes he will walk away and listen to me. I say no caca idk if torts can be trained but it seems like he listens when he want to lol.
I love "no caca"!!! It made me lough out loud
 

thehowards

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I think it might be he knows if he doesn't walk away from the poop when I tell him I pick him up and move him a foot away maybe he just knows if he doesn't move I'll move him and he just really doesn't want to get picked up.
 

Big Charlie

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I've read that tortoises are supposed to have a good sense of smell. If Charlie has a good sense of smell, why does he try to eat things that aren't food? Yesterday I put a green plastic scoop on the ground for a moment and he tried to bite it. He'll do the same thing with my shoes and other things, especially if they are green.
 

Gillian M

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I've read that tortoises are supposed to have a good sense of smell. If Charlie has a good sense of smell, why does he try to eat things that aren't food? Yesterday I put a green plastic scoop on the ground for a moment and he tried to bite it. He'll do the same thing with my shoes and other things, especially if they are green.
That sounds strange, but at the same time I wonder: 'Could he have been hungry? Could it curiosity? as you see 'anything green.' The colour might attract his attention.
 

leigti

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I've read that tortoises are supposed to have a good sense of smell. If Charlie has a good sense of smell, why does he try to eat things that aren't food? Yesterday I put a green plastic scoop on the ground for a moment and he tried to bite it. He'll do the same thing with my shoes and other things, especially if they are green.
He's tasting it to see if it is edible.
 

Alaskamike

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Why do they bite things that are not food ?

Animals smell things in different ways than we do. When I was involved more with dogs , there were cases where dogs ate things like coins, gloves, jewelry.

But if you think of it , we handle food, then we handle objects. The smell of the food is still on the object.

To the animal , it smells like food.
Even the smell of human sweat can trigger it - like when they eat your dirty socks.

One reason not to let your tort wander the house ! A paper clip on the floor might end up in their gut.
 

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