What do turtles and crocodiles have in common? They are incubated in the sand when they’re in eggs. The varying temperatures will determine whether the eggs that hatch are males or females. Cooler temperatures during incubation tend to hatch male reptiles, in regards to temperature dépendant animals, while warmer temperatures during incubation tend to hatch female reptiles.
As the Earth temperature is rising, this could wreck havoc on the male to female ratio of turtles and crocodiles. When more and more female turtles hatch that means that less male turtles will hatch to breed with those turtles. This a big concerns for scientists. Turtles already have to face enormous difficulties once they hatch. From even making it to the ocean to facing scavengers that wait to prey on newly hatched turtles they have a lot of challenges. But now, with the rising temperatures on the earth and in the sea, the turtles face the possibility of lowered genetic diversity due to the ratio of female to male turtles.
That’s not the only problem, their food source and home are in jeopardy, the coral reefs are dying. The coral reefs are “bleaching” which is where parts of the reef are being killed off due to rising temperatures. Also the changes in temperatures increase the severity of storms that can occur where the turtle’s nests are.
It’s going to take concentrated efforts from everyone on this planet to help the turtles to survive. From short-term plans, such as protecting nests and learning about nesting areas for turtles, to long term plans, where we cut back on pollution in the ocean and in the atmosphere. Let’s do what we can every day. Even the smallest thing can be the biggest help!