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Old 20-12-2010, 11:42 AM
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Default How do torts communicate

How do torts communicate with each other, do they even communicate with each other
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:58 AM
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Whether the communicate to each other, I dont know. But would guess not.
Sense of smell is a communication between male and female:0)
Humans will say their tortoises come running to their name, but they see a face and think food and will come over. So maybe you could call that a communication. More an association than a real communication I would think.
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by purplepixie View Post
Whether the communicate to each other, I dont know. But would guess not.
Sense of smell is a communication between male and female:0)
Humans will say their tortoises come running to their name, but they see a face and think food and will come over. So maybe you could call that a communication. More an association than a real communication I would think.
Communication in terrestrial Chelonia, will vary accorng to the species. However, there is no doubt that they do use a whole range of visual and olfactory cues. In a number of species, head nodding, and scent is a common feature. Species like the North American Gopher Tortoise will use secretions from glands located below the chin (Mental glands), and coat these onto the shields of their front legs. The chemical signals are used extensively in courtship and partner recognition.
Head bobbing is commly seen as a threat and or display posture and is no doubt recognised by other Tortoises of the same species. Obviously, in courtship another commonly used device is shell ramming, and for those who keep species such as T ibera, there can be no doubt that this activity, driven by strong sexual urges is akin to SHOUTING!!!
Visual cues can of course also be far more subtle and I am sure when misunderstood by Tortoise Keepers can lead to very stressful encounters for some poor animals whom are seeking to evade the attention of often aggressive advances by other Tortoises.
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Old 20-12-2010, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Geomyda View Post
Communication in terrestrial Chelonia, will vary accorng to the species. However, there is no doubt that they do use a whole range of visual and olfactory cues. In a number of species, head nodding, and scent is a common feature. Species like the North American Gopher Tortoise will use secretions from glands located below the chin (Mental glands), and coat these onto the shields of their front legs. The chemical signals are used extensively in courtship and partner recognition.
Head bobbing is commly seen as a threat and or display posture and is no doubt recognised by other Tortoises of the same species. Obviously, in courtship another commonly used device is shell ramming, and for those who keep species such as T ibera, there can be no doubt that this activity, driven by strong sexual urges is akin to SHOUTING!!!
Visual cues can of course also be far more subtle and I am sure when misunderstood by Tortoise Keepers can lead to very stressful encounters for some poor animals whom are seeking to evade the attention of often aggressive advances by other Tortoises.
I had to laugh at that bit! My possibly female Hermanns took to ramming my hand one day ages ago, while I was clearing uneaten food. The way she reared up then threw herself at me was quite hilarious. She's never done it again since to me or my suspected boy tort, or vice versa (yet!) that I know of anyway

Interesting post Paul, didn't know they had Mental glands!
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Old 20-12-2010, 01:59 PM
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I forgot about the head bobbing, as mine rarely do it these days. But I agree Paul, it is another method of communication.
You just put it into better words than me:0)
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Old 20-12-2010, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AnythingWithAShell View Post
I had to laugh at that bit! My possibly female Hermanns took to ramming my hand one day ages ago, while I was clearing uneaten food. The way she reared up then threw herself at me was quite hilarious. She's never done it again since to me or my suspected boy tort, or vice versa (yet!) that I know of anyway

Interesting post Paul, didn't know they had Mental glands!
I've been looking into the cues used by Chelonia in communication, especially in the courtship of some of the species that I have bred. Both visual, usually "Head bobbing", or in some of the more aquatic species "Fanning"; this behaviour is commonly seen, and obviously with extended foreclaws exhibited in some of the Basking turtles, this is an important part of successful courtship. However, in some of the semi aquatics, such as Asian Box Turtles (Cuora spp), at certain times of the year Males develop enlarged glands below their chin; (Sub Dental). These I have been told by Prof Kuchling, from University of Western Australia are called "Mental glands":



In the picture, this male Malayan Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis) shows one of these enlarged glands just below the chin. I strongly suspect that in this species these are at this time secreting chemical cues to encourage the females to accept the courtship advances. In this species as well as other species of Cuora box turtles, there is often a highly rituallised head bobbing performance, which encourages the female to accept a successful coupling.
The Turtle equivilent of perfum, perhaps?
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Old 20-12-2010, 04:59 PM
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wow. i never knew any of this, verry interesting
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Old 20-12-2010, 05:47 PM
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Me neither! Very interesting indeed!
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Old 20-12-2010, 06:34 PM
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telepathy for sure

humans don't know everything you know they think they do, but in the animal kingdom they don't.
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Old 20-12-2010, 06:38 PM
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Tortoises also feel by vibration .
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