Tortoise Ears

tortoise earsTortoise ears don't look like yours. In fact, there is no ear on the outside of a tortoise's body. But hiding under the scales on the side of the head or neck behind the eyes is an eardrum. You can often tell where by looking for a dark spot.

The eardrum is covered with scales.

The otic capsule is a bony box around the tortoise's ear. No other animal has an otic capsule.

Tortoises feel vibrations through the ground. The vibrations go up the legs to the shell and into the ear drum.

Tortoises can hear low sounds better than high sounds. If you want your tortoise to pay attention to you, speak in a low voice.

Sea turtles probably hear better than tortoises, but their ears are also hidden from view.

Tortoises and turtles can get ear infections. If you feel a lump under the skin on the side of the head or neck, take your pet to a veterinarian. Only surgery can cure an abscess in the ear.

See other parts of the tortoise anatomy and other tortoise facts.

Keep it slow and steady.

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