Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla., conducted hearing studies with two resident loggerhead sea turtles, Shelley and Montego. Using Clark Synthesis Aquasonic Underwater Speakers, we investigated how well these sea turtles can detect the direction sounds come from. By participating voluntarily in this study, Shelley and Montego are helping us understand how well sea turtles perceive the direction of sounds, including the frequencies found in boat engine noise. Results can inform conservation and management programs working to protect wild sea turtle populations and manage threats facing these threatened and endangered reptiles. This study was supported by an IMATA Research Grant.
Visitors to Mote’s public outreach facility, Mote Aquarium, can see Shelley and Montego between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. any day of the week. (www.mote.org)
The research was published in 2016 in PLOS One, which is a peer-reviewed and open access journal. You may read their paper here
Piniak, W. E. D., Mann, D. A., Harms, C. A., Jones, T. T., & Eckert, S. A. (2016). Hearing in the Juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas): A Comparison of Underwater and Aerial Hearing Using Auditory Evoked Potentials. PLoS ONE, 11(10), e0159711. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159711