Like other members of the animal kingdom, sea turtles have ears and can process auditory stimuli. Their ear canals are just covered by extended facial tissue called, the tympanum. Underneath the tympanum is a layer of sub tympanic fat. This layer is unique to sea turtles and is what increases their sensitivity to low frequencies. Sea turtle audiation continues to be an important factor to sea turtle biology as human impact increases. Acoustic stimuli may provide cues for sea turtles, and may be used for navigation, locating prey, avoiding predators, and general environmental awareness.
Music therapy can be used to help facilitate sea turtle rehabilitation by decreasing stress and depression levels, as well as possibly decreasing their physical pain. For example, music therapy can be used during stressful surgical procedures in order to lower their cortisol levels and create a more calm environment. Just as music has been composed to fit canine sensitivity ranges, a CD can be made to fit sea turtles’ range of 300-400 Hz using the instruments best suited for this frequency, such as mid-range piano, mid range acoustic guitar, mid to high-range cello, tenor saxophone, and tenor vocals.