Sea Turtles Are Turning Female Here’s Why

Posted by Sughra Hafeez in Nature and Travel On 17th January 2018

Complete feminization of the northern population is possible in near future, researchers find.

According to the study of researchers:

"Combining our results with temperature data show that the northern GBR green turtle rookeries have been producing primarily females for more than two decades and that the complete feminization of this population is possible in the near future."

Rising temperatures are turning almost all green sea turtles in a Great Barrier Reef population female, new research has found.

Since the sex of a sea turtle is determined by the heat of sand incubating their eggs, scientists had suspected they might see slightly more females.

Climate change, after all, has driven air and sea temperatures higher, which, in these creatures, favors female offspring.

But instead, they found female sea turtles from the Pacific Ocean's largest and most important green sea turtle rookery now outnumber males by at least 116 to 1.

Unlike humans — and most other species — green sea turtles do not develop into males and females based on sex chromosomes.

Rather, the temperature outside of a turtle egg — while the embryo is developing — controls the gender. At a "pivot" temperature (29.3 degrees Celsius), turtles hatch with a relatively even split between males and females, according to the researchers.

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