Sea Turtles

Global Warming Turtles

As many as 85 percent of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings living on beaches in the southern United States are now female, a sex ratio caused by a warming habitat that threatens this endangered species. A lack of males may cause the species to become extinct (Lazaroff, 2002). "These turtles have very small gonads at this age and are difficult to identify," said Jeanette Wyneken, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Florida Atlantic University, who is an expert on sea turtle anatomy and turtle conservation (Lazaroff, 2002). According to a report by the Environment News Service,

"The skewed sex ratios can arise because the temperature of the sand surrounding a turtle nest plays a strong role in determining the sex of turtles, with warmer temperatures favoring females" (Lazaroff, 2002). Given a few more degrees of warming, all the turtles' offspring will be female, and the loggerheads will go extinct. --

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