Do Tortoises Make Noise? (All You Need to Know)

Tortoises are often seen as silent creatures, but do they ever make any noise? From squeaking to hissing, tortoises can make a range of sounds depending on their species, age, and environment. In this article, I’ll explore the various sounds a tortoise can make, and discuss why and when they make these noises.

So, if you’ve ever wondered if tortoises can make noise, you’ll find the answer here!

Reasons Why Tortoises Make Noise

It is important to be aware of the reasons so that owners can understand their pet tortoise’s behavior better.


Communication is one of the primary reasons why tortoises make noise, as it helps them to warn potential predators and alert other members of their species. When threatened or startled, tortoises will often hiss loudly as a warning sign that they are feeling threatened or stressed. Additionally, baby tortoises will also use sound to call out for help when they sense danger.

Courtship & Mating Calls

Tortoises also make noise while engaging in courtship and mating behavior. Male tortoises can often be heard producing loud noises to attract potential mates during the breeding season. These calls have been found to be species-specific and unique to each tortoise species.

Territorial & Defensive Sounds

One reason why a tortoise might start to vocalize is because of aggression towards another member of its species. Tortoises are naturally territorial and can become agitated if it feels threatened in any way or senses a rival trespassing on their territory. This can result in hissing or growling as a warning sign to others not to enter the area.

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Other signs of aggression can include ramming, biting, and pushing with their legs, so it is important for owners to take notice if their pet starts becoming more aggressive than usual.

Types of Tortoise Sounds & Behavior

From growls to hisses, tortoises make a variety of noises that indicate different types of emotions or situations. Some common tortoise sounds include:


According to The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, the hissing sound is used by tortoises as part of their communication and is typically seen as an aggressive or defensive warning sign.

When two tortoises come into contact with each other, they will hiss in order to indicate the level of aggression they are feeling. They also determined that the length and frequency of the hissing can vary depending on how aggressive one particular tortoise feels in a certain situation.


Croaking is an interesting sound that tortoises make, and it’s an important part of their communication. Croaking serves more than one purpose in the tortoise community. For males, it’s a way to attract female attention during mating season. It can also be linked with something positive such as asking for food.

The croak is also one way for them to express excitement or alertness as they explore their surroundings.


Squeaking noise can be a sign of respiratory infection, which can be caused by an array of things such as lung problems, trouble breathing, or even grass stuck in the nostril.

For the most part, squeaking is typically caused by an infection inside the lungs or air sacs of tortoises. If this happens to your tortoise, it could be having difficulty getting enough oxygen and will start making a squeaky sound with each breath as it tries to take in more air. It is also possible for something like grass to get stuck in the nostril and cause irritation while they breathe.

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If you suspect that your pet tortoise has some sort of respiratory infection due to its squeaking sound, it’s recommended that you seek help from a veterinarian immediately.

Also Read: Why is my tortoise squeaking?


Grunting is a sound made by both male and female tortoises, although males usually grunt more than females. Tortoises produce this sound by using the muscles in their throats to create vibrations in the air. It typically happens when they are laying eggs or mating.


Whistling can be due to many different reasons, including respiratory distress or feeling scared. It is mostly associated with fear and expressing discomfort or pain. For example, when a wild tortoise feels threatened by predators or other tortoises they may release noises such as hissing and whistling in order to scare away their challengers. On the other hand, if they are held captive by humans they may whistle out of stress or anxiety due to this new environment.