Dinghui
What does "post" mean here? Biologists used to think turtles belonged to the “silent majority” of reptiles, meaning if turtles made sounds—no one was listening. One reptile guide from the 1950s went so far as to call them, quote, “deaf as a post.” What does "post" mean here?Context: Biologists used to think turtles belonged to the “silent majority” of reptiles, meaning if turtles made sounds—no one was listening. One reptile guide from the 1950s went so far as to call them, quote, “deaf as a post.” But it turns out scientists just weren’t listening hard enough. Because in recent years, biologists have identified at least 11 different sounds in the turtle repertoire recorded both in and out of the water. But what do they mean? In the latest attempt to decode turtle talk, researchers tailed giant South American river turtles—Podocnemis expansa—in Brazil, over a two-year span. They recorded 220 hours of audio, capturing six of those 11 sounds. Two of the calls were extremely common—occurring during just about every turtle activity. Other calls the turtles made only during migration, or while nesting at night . The findings appear in the journal Herpetologica. [Camila Rudge Ferrara et al.: Sound communication and social behavior in an Amazonian river turtle (Podocnemis expansa)] The researchers still aren’t sure what any of these sounds actually mean, or whether turtles can recognize each other by voice alone. All the more reason, they say, to use these sounds in playback experiments…, which might get these talking turtles out of their shells. —Christopher Intagliata
Nov 28, 2016 5:16 PM
Answers · 6
It's an idiom that means completely unable to hear. In that phrase, post means something like a piece of wood stuck in the ground, as in sign post. Naturally, a post cannot hear, so the phrase: "dumb as a post" means unable to hear. "Blind as a bat" is a similar idiom, except it means unable to see.
November 28, 2016
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Dinghui
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Shanghainese), English, Japanese
Learning Language
English