Testudines are a highly threatened group facing an array of stressors, including alteration of their sensory environment. Underwater noise pollution has the potential to induce hearing loss and disrupt detection of biologically important acoustic cues and signals. To examine the conditions that induce temporary threshold shifts (TTS) in hearing in the freshwater Eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta picta), three individuals were exposed to band limited continuous white noise (50–1000 Hz) of varying durations and amplitudes (sound exposure levels ranged from 151 to 171 dB re 1 μPa2 s). Control and post-exposure auditory thresholds were measured and compared at 400 and 600 Hz using auditory evoked potential methods. TTS occurred in all individuals at both test frequencies, with shifts of 6.1–41.4 dB. While the numbers of TTS occurrences were equal between frequencies, greater shifts were observed at 600 Hz, a frequency of higher auditory sensitivity, compared to 400 Hz. The onset of TTS occurred at 154 dB re 1 μPa2 s for 600 Hz, compared to 158 dB re 1 μPa2 s at 400 Hz. The 400-Hz onset and patterns of TTS growth and recovery were similar to those observed in previously studied Trachemys scripta elegans, suggesting TTS may be comparable across Emydidae species.

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