What Sound Does A Turtle Make? 5 Species Of Sounds

December 7, 2022 by No Comments

You may be surprised to learn that turtles make many different sounds. Some of them are quite easy to hear. An angry turtle’s hiss is a sound most won’t forget. Other turtle sounds are out of any human’s hearing range.

Here are five types of sounds that turtles make.

Do Turtles Make Sounds?

A turtle doesn’t typically make a sound, but they are able to and will do so when necessary.

Turtles are less social than other animals and don’t need to alert us to things.

They are content to live in their own serene, tranquil world.

What Sound Does a Turtle Make?

It has been very simple for humans to overlook turtles’ audible characteristics because of their low frequency and inconsistent noises. The low frequency of turtle noises would be particularly difficult for elderly people to locate.

Similar to other animals, when stressed, enraged, or aggressive, turtles make noise. When threatened, turtles have been observed hissing to alert predators and onlookers. Turtles hiss and breathe rapidly to convey their negative emotions, much like dogs do before they attack.

What Are the Sounds of Different Turtle Species?

These are some of the most typical turtle species kept as pets, along with the noises you might hear them making.

Red-Eared Slider Sounds

The most popular kind of turtle kept as a pet is a red-eared slider.

They are primarily aquatic in nature and distinguished by the red stripes that appear where their ears would normally be (there is no ear canal to be seen).

They love to soak up the sun, so if you’re on a river in North America, you’ll frequently see a group gathered with their legs spread out, enjoying the warmth.

There was a quacking sound, but it was more like a honk. Here is an example.

The long front claws of red-eared slider males are used to wiggle in front of the female’s face during mating, shaking the water.

During this process, they make a low sound while opening and closing their mouths.

Red-eared sliders and aquatic turtles in general fall into the same range as pets.

When they are out of the water, they can hiss air, and when they are in it, they can make low noises. However, a turtle rarely makes sounds other than a hiss.

Snapping Turtle Sounds

One of the more aggressive turtle species is the snapping turtle.

They can make a variety of noises, including:

  • Hissing
  • Clicking
  • Honking

A snapping turtle should not be approached, especially if it is hissing at you.

If you aren’t careful, they can rip a finger off with their powerful jaws.

North American Box Turtle Noises

You might have seen one of these turtles in the wild or while it was attempting to cross the road because they are quite common.

Peaceful creatures, box turtles lead a leisurely existence in the underbrush, where they eat a variety of bugs.

They make sounds that sound like honking while mating.

Although a box turtle is capable of making this sound when not mating, it is uncommon to hear one do so.

Tortoise Noises

The species of tortoise are countless.

They make startled wheezing and hissing noises, and frequently, under normal circumstances, their breath is a wheeze all by itself.

In addition to the highs and lows of the air passing through their throats, they are only capable of a limited range of sounds.

Also, is your house suitable for a tortoise if you have one?

For suggestions on how to enhance your current set-up and keep your pet secure and healthy, take a look at these best tortoise enclosures.

Other Species

Not enough research has been done on sea turtle sounds.

They appear to communicate underwater in part through various low-frequency vibrations.

To let their clutch know when to hatch, sea turtles and a particular species of turtle found in the Amazon River hum in unison.

When they rise to the surface collectively, it aids in their survival.

The Amazon River turtle, also known as the Arrau, navigates the muddy Amazon River by using echolocation and its sounds.

In order for the adult females to migrate the river together rather than separately, their offspring have a distinctive call that draws mature females to the location of the hatch.

what sound does a turtle make

How Do Turtles Make Noise?

The sounds of turtles haven’t been extensively studied in the past.

Scientists once believed they were completely incapable of producing any sound.

We have discovered that some turtle species do use vocalization, though, in more recent years and with the aid of upgraded modern technology.

Due to the absence of vocal cords, all sounds produced by turtles are the result of air being forced from their lungs and throat.

Every turtle is capable of hissing.

When they withdraw into their shell and whoosh their air out, they make this hissing sound. Despite being more of a wheeze, it makes that hissing noise.

One species of aquatic turtle has been found to use a form of sound echolocation, and many species use low vibrations to communicate.

Turtles are not constrained in their interactions with one another and the outside world just because humans cannot hear it on their own.

Why Do Turtles Make Noise?

In-depth studies on this topic have revealed that turtles make noises as they hatch in order to coordinate their exit from the egg. Like other animals and reptiles, turtles use sound to communicate with one another. Numerous animal species, including turtles, also make noises when they mate.

Because the turtle is typically left alone and must navigate its way to the water and surroundings, the period immediately after hatching is one of great danger for turtles. The pod can synchronize and find safety in numbers by making noises days before hatching, giving it a better chance of surviving given the nearby predators that are lurking in the shadows.

Noise pollution is becoming more of an issue in light of the declining turtle population. Noise pollution makes it more difficult for turtle hatchlings to locate nearby hatchlings, which could put them in more danger as they try to avoid predators right after hatching.

Do Turtles Make Noise When They Mate?

In order to attract mates, turtles make low grunts and other low-frequency noises.

Often, a turtle’s mating season is the only time a person can hear it make noise.

The only sounds we can frequently hear with bare ears are those made by mating turtles.


Even though they are not the most social reptiles or animals on the planet, turtles still behave similarly to each other in order to survive. This includes making sounds that are indicative of danger or reproduction.

Stress can be caused by too many interactions with humans and is a risk factor for turtles. If your turtle is hissing or retreating into its shell, it’s best to give them some space.