Amphibious Hearing in Sea Turtles
Despite increasing levels of anthropogenic noise throughout the oceans, we know very little about the hearing capabilities of sea turtles or how they might behaviorally and physiologically respond to potentially harmful sources of noise. Sea turtles are among the evolutionarily oldest and most endangered marine species. Seven species of sea turtle exist worldwide, including Dermochelys coriacea (leatherback), Eretmochelys imbricata (hawksbill), Chelonia mydas (green), Caretta caretta (loggerhead), Lepidochelys kempi (Kemp’s ridley), Lepidochelys olivacea (olive ridley), and Natator depressus (flatback). With the exception of Natator depressus (for which we have insufficient data), all are classified as critically endangered or endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species (2010). Sea turtles are found in nearly all temperate and tropical marine environments and are highly migratory, traveling great distances between developmental, foraging, and nesting habitats. Given their endangered status, understanding the effects of noise on sea turtles is both timely and critically important.
KeywordsHair Cell Basilar Membrane Auditory Evoke Potential Otic Capsule Hearing Sensitivity
- Bartol S, Ketten DR (2006) Turtle and tuna hearing. In: Swimmer Y, Brill R (eds) Sea turtle and pelagic fish sensory biology: Developing techniques to reduce sea turtle bycatch in longline fisheries. Technical Memorandum NMFS-PIFSC-7, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Department of Commerce, pp 98–105.Google Scholar
- Bartol SM, Musick JA (2003) Sensory biology of sea turtles. In: Lutz PL, Musick JA, Wyneken J (eds) Biology of sea turtles, vol II. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp 79–102.Google Scholar
- Harms CA, Eckert SA, Jones TT, Dow Piniak WE, Mann DA (2009) A technique for underwater anesthesia compared with manual restraint of sea turtles undergoing auditory evoked potential measurements. J Herpetol Med Surg 19:8–12.Google Scholar
- International Union for the Conservation of Nature (2010) 2010 IUCN red list of threatened species. Available via http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed 1 May 2010.
- Wever EG (1978) The reptile ear: Its structure and function. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar