Scientists develop new way to identify the sex of sea turtle hatchlings: Study provides crucial step to assess climate change impacts on imperiled turtle species

ScienceDaily | Apr 7, 2020 at 6:09 PM
  • Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science have developed a first-of-its-kind technique that is minimally invasive and greatly enhances the ability to measure neonate turtle sex ratios at population levels across nesting sites worldwide.
  • In comparison to the current molecular methods for sex identification in turtles with temperature-dependent sex differentiation, the approach developed by FAU researchers using blood samples via western blot analysis is quick, minimally invasive (requires a very small volume of blood), and the hatchling turtle can then be released immediately.
  • Identifying natural turtle hatchling sex ratios at nesting sites is challenging for a variety of reasons, spanning morphological limitations to ethical issues to a lack of understanding of the mechanisms that actually direct embryonic sexual differentiation.