These animals’ sex lives could be screwed up by climate change
In a warmer world, the future could be entirely female for green sea turtles. These reptiles are born female if they’re exposed to warmer-than-usual temperatures while they’re embryos — and due to climate change, that’s what’s happening at the northern edge of the Great Barrier Reef, according to new research. Here, more than 99 percent of the younger sea turtles are now female.
But green sea turtles aren’t alone: for certain reptile and fish species, the outside temperature determines the sex of their offspring. That means that as global temperatures continue to climb, entire populations could wind up becoming all male or all female, which would make reproduction a challenge.
The phenomenon is called temperature-dependent sex…