If you have a turtle, you might be surprised to find that your shelled friend exhibits some pretty interesting and even strange traits.

Here are a few strange facts you might not have known:

  • They are vocal
    Though they don’t have vocal cords, turtles can still make sounds. They suck in air and then force it out of their lungs, which can create some pretty distinctive sounds. The red-foot tortoise makes a sound similar to the cluck of a chicken. The male Travancore tortoise lets out an ear-piercing whine, similar to the sound of an electric motor, when they’re looking for a mate. You’ll hear a loud yelping sound, similar to a dog’s, when the giant musk turtle is afraid or is under attack. Also a female leatherback sea turtle, when nesting, will make sounds that are similar to a human belching.
  • Tail sniffing
    Similar to dogs, turtles seek sniff tails as well. They search for their mates by sniffing their tails since their sexual organs are hidden inside the cloaca, a cavity that is used for reproduction. Turtles have an excellent sense of smell and males can smell a female’s pheromones from this part of her body.
  • They don’t have a diaphragm
    While humans and other beings use their diaphragms to pull air into their lungs, turtles breathe air, even though they don’t have a diaphragm. They rely on their neck, limbs and other muscles. These muscles are attached to the pleural cavity, which surrounds the lungs and help them breathe.
  • They have keen eye sight
    Turtles have an incredible sense of sight and rely on it to help them find food, spot danger and find other members of their species. Not only do they have keen eyesight, but they also seem to have favorite colors. They tend to be more attracted to warm-colored objects that are in red, yellow or orange.

These traits make turtles even more unique and endearing.