• News
  • Research

Rising temperatures turning green sea turtles female in Great Barrier Reef

Rising temperatures turning green sea turtles female in Great Barrier Reef

The northern Great Barrier Reef, the site of the overwhelming female population, has one of the largest populations of green sea turtles in the world, the study said.

Biologists consider 84.74 degrees Fahrenheit to be the pivotal temperature for green sea turtles to be born a mixture of female and males.

The sex of green turtles is influenced by temperatures during their incubation period and a difference of just a few degrees in the temperature of nests - which are dug into beaches - can result in a population that is 100% male or female.

"Finding that there are next to no males among young northern green turtles should ring alarm bells, but all is not lost for this important population". 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.

"This is extreme-like capital letters extreme, exclamation point extreme", Camryn Allen, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) endocrinology researcher and the study's co-author, told National Geographic. "With average global temperature predicted to increase 2.6°C by 2100 many sea turtle populations are in danger of high egg mortality and female-only offspring production".

Environment temperatures play a key role in determining the sex of green turtles.

For many reptiles, sex is determined not by chromosomes, but by the temperature at which their eggs are incubated.

"These results suggest that increased sand temperatures affect the sex ratios of the (northern Great Barrier Reef) population such that virtually no male turtles are now being produced from these nesting beaches", the study said. Green sea turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act and listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List.

The researchers found that a gathering of turtles in the cooler southern piece of the reef were 65 to 69 percent female while a gathering from the water northern piece of the reef skewed considerably more female.

"Realizing what the sex proportions in the grown-up reproducing populace are today, and what they may look like five, 10 and quite a while from now when these youthful turtles grow up and move toward becoming grown-ups, will be extraordinarily profitable". "We know that species evolve in response to climate and other environmental changes, but they need time for that".

Leave Your Comment

Leave Your Comment

Latest News

Breaking News


Oakland Raiders to introduce Jon Gruden as new coach

The Alabama native played in the National Football League for four seasons, including one year with the Oakland Raiders in 2003. I don't know whose idea it was to kick off a press conference with a hype video, but I can get behind that idea.

Jennifer Lawrence gets intense in full trailer for spy thriller Red Sparrow

Lawrence portrays a former Russian ballerina forced into a Russian intelligence program in order to get her mother medical care. That's the tagline for Jennifer Lawrence's new action-packed thriller Red Sparrow , which is hitting theaters this spring.

Kensington Palace shares adorable photos of Princess Charlotte's first day at nursery

When does she start there? Willcocks Nursery School is a sought-after pre-school for London's elite, with a lengthy waiting list. Starting today, Charlotte will be a full-time student at Willcocks, where she will take pottery and poetry classes.

Go Bills! Steelers get Titans with Buffalo upset

Bills running back LeSean McCoy gutted out an ankle injury sustained in the regular-season finale win over the Miami Dolphins . Taylor does a great job of not turning the ball over but he was often inaccurate with his passes this season.

Sears to close Prices Corner store

Perkins said the once-iconic department store has had just one quarter of positive same-store sales growth in the last 12 years. Sears Canada, of which Sears Holdings owns 10 percent, filed for bankruptcy in June and is in the process of liquidation.

USA cancer death rate goes down, find out why

There was a 52 percent drop in prostate cancer deaths between 1993 and 2015, the latest numbers available. The most recent rate represents a 26 percent decline from the peak of cancer mortality in 1991.

Meltdown, Specter bugs: Apple iPhones, ipad, Macs at risk

Current updates to macOS and iOS protect against Meltdown, and Apple is working on providing better protections against Spectre. Apple this evening has officially released a statement on the Meltdown and Spectre bugs affecting ARM and Intel processors.

LG 88-inch 8K OLED TV is ready for CES 2018

Samsung used to be a contender in this arena, as well, but the South Korean giant has since shifted its focus on QLED display. The approval of establishing this plant has also been given by the South Korean government.

Mariah Carey ready for her New Year's Eve do-over

The legendary annual show has been marking the end of the year from New York's Times Square for decades, and 2018 is no exception. While numerous performances will be in Times Square, singers will be performing on the west coast and in New Orleans.

Trump fires entire Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

Scott Schoettes , a senior attorney for Lambda Legal who resigned from the council in June, considers the firings "dangerous". All 16 remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS were fired earlier this week.