Florida sea turtles predominately born female due to climate change

Originally published at: Florida sea turtles predominately born female due to climate change | Boing Boing

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So for turtles sex is not a STD, but a TSD.


this same phenomenon has also been seen in aligators. warmer temps and the entire hatch is female.


I predict researchers will end up incubating hatches of turtles et. al. at cooler tmeperatures to make sure there are enough males to go around.


I wonder what advantage this has such that it’d be “picked” for several species. Feels more like an evolutionary left-over that didn’t need to change for so long but suddenly the world started changing faster.


Evolution isn’t an optimisation process as such. It’s basically something that just happens, and in a very random and lazy way. Anything that isn’t a crass disadvantage has a tendency to stay around, on and on and on. Until some parameter or other changes.
“Survival of the fittest” (a term that Darwin did not coin, one of his fanbois did that) suggests some sort of active, deliberate, purposeful development that isn’t really a thing. Yes, there is a competition for resources, but anything new only survives if it happens to either still fit in the niche it already sits in, or finds a niche it fits into, fast. Everything else goes away. In short, a lot of survivorship bias.


The short version is that it can be adaptive in some cases – for instance when there’s a benefit to producing different numbers of males and females in different seasons – but it’s usually a left-over now so it’s tough to tell if those might have once applied.


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