Desert Tortoises Can Hear Better Under Water
by Douglas Main
Desert tortoises, as their name suggests, don’t encounter many large bodies of water.  But surprisingly, all turtles, even desert tortoises, can hear better underwater, recent research finds.

"If a desert tortoise decided to stick its head underwater, it could hear better," said Katie Willis, a University of Maryland doctoral student and co-author of a study published online this week in the journal PLoS ONE.

The findings shed light on the evolution of turtles, suggesting they all share an aquatic ancestor, the researchers said.


Willis and her co-authors took MRI and CT scans of the inner ears of many different species of turtles. They calculated that in every case these relatively large, air-filled sacks inside the skull resonated, or vibrated, more powerfully underwater, where sound waves travel more quickly than in air…
(read more: Our Amazing Planet)                  (photo: Taylor Edwards)

Desert Tortoises Can Hear Better Under Water

by Douglas Main

Desert tortoises, as their name suggests, don’t encounter many large bodies of water.  But surprisingly, all turtles, even desert tortoises, can hear better underwater, recent research finds.

"If a desert tortoise decided to stick its head underwater, it could hear better," said Katie Willis, a University of Maryland doctoral student and co-author of a study published online this week in the journal PLoS ONE.

The findings shed light on the evolution of turtles, suggesting they all share an aquatic ancestor, the researchers said.

Willis and her co-authors took MRI and CT scans of the inner ears of many different species of turtles. They calculated that in every case these relatively large, air-filled sacks inside the skull resonated, or vibrated, more powerfully underwater, where sound waves travel more quickly than in air…

(read more: Our Amazing Planet)                  (photo: Taylor Edwards)

  1. frauluther reblogged this from fuckyeahtortoises
  2. catcubus reblogged this from reptiglo and added:
    The photo reminds me of the two tortoises that are at my dad’s.
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  22. reptilefacts reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    Desert Tortoises Can Hear Better Under Water
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  25. awesome-oceans reblogged this from khthonic and added:
    … Can’t every animal hear better under water…? Sound travels 5x faster in water… soooo every animal would hear better…?
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