Climate change is turning baby green sea turtles female

Good chance that's a female

A recent paper reveals that Australia's Great Barrier Reef Turtles are changing their gender into female.

Biologists consider 84.74 degrees Fahrenheit to be the pivotal temperature for green sea turtles to be born a mixture of female and males. Majority of sea turtles from warmer northern beaches, on the other hand, were female, with 86.8 percent of adult turtles, 99.8 percent of sub-adult turtles and 99.1 percent of juvenile turtles turning out to be female.

A turtle's sex is dependent on the temperature at which it is incubated, so warmer nests result in more females. Sea turtles, like these green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), don't have genetically determined sexes, the way mammals do.

Since figuring out the sex of buried eggs is too hard, researchers made a decision to catch sea turtles and use genetic tests to find out where they'd come from.

"Any variation on that of about one to two degrees, could risk producing all females or perhaps embryonic death". At the southern end of the reef, 65-69 percent of turtles are female, which no doubt makes for some very happy males, and could actually improve breeding prospects compared to a 50-50 ratio in a species where some males mate with many females. The reader's can rely on the content at their own will. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability, data, text, images, video, messages, or any other material whatsoever or for any claims/loss/action that the reader may suffer as a result of relying on the content on our site.

With such a profound lack of males for around 200,000 nesting females to reproduce with, the population of the creatures off Australia's Queensland coast could crash, a study has found.

So, the researchers developed a new technique: Studying the turtles' hormones.Proving that the increasing temperatures actually changed the turtle population proved challenging, though. And the easiest method - cutting them open - isn't really an ethical way to approach an endangered turtle population. Using a combination of endocrinology and genetic tests, researchers identified the turtles' sex and nesting origin.

"This research is so important because it provides a new understanding of what these populations are dealing with", he said.

The climate is changing, and so are the turtles.

"While these turtles may be half a world away, action to reduce carbon emissions in the United Kingdom can play a vital role in limiting the impact of global warming on green turtles and countless other marine species", he said.

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