Vocalizations of Two Freshwater Turtle Species: Chelodina Mccordi and Pangshura Tecta

Elana Frank, Fordham University


Little is known about vocalizations in turtle species. Turtles historically were considered quiet and unsocial, but recent research has uncovered the presence of vocalizations in five species of freshwater turtles. My study tested whether Chelodina mccordi and Pangshura tecta vocalize, and whether vocalizations differ due to differences in sex and age. Additionally, I sought to uncover the function of turtle vocalizations by comparing audio files to associated video files and by conducting playback experiments of conspecific vocalizations. My study revealed that both Chelodina mccordi and Pangshura tecta vocalize and produce four types of vocalizations: low chirps, high chirps, short clicks, and long clicks. Additionally, I found that for both species females produce lower frequency vocalizations than males and that females have a higher rate of vocalization than males do. Though no vocalizations produced by juvenile P. tecta were documented, juvenile C. mccordi had a lower rate of chirp production but a higher rate of click production than both females and males. My results were consistent with previous research regarding vocalization types, frequency differences between males and females, and vocalization type production of juveniles. Comparison of audio and video files allowed for a potential function of click vocalization in copulation, and instances of turtles moving while producing clicks. Playback experiments revealed minimal response from C. mccordi, only a few instances of focal turtles turning their heads, and no response from P. tecta.

Subject Area

Biology|Aquatic sciences

Recommended Citation

Frank, Elana, "Vocalizations of Two Freshwater Turtle Species: Chelodina Mccordi and Pangshura Tecta" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29328006.