Climate change might alter genders in bearded dragon lizards

Climate change might alter genders in bearded dragon lizards

According to a new study, the impact of climate change might alter the gender in Australia's bearded dragon lizards.

Researchers said that climate change might determine sex among lizards as male dragons might transition into female during incubation. It was earlier known that global warming has an effect on the gender of some reptiles. They found that temperatures greater than 34 to 37 degrees Celsius or 93.2 to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit will cause male embryos to turn into females among Australian bearded dragons.

They warned that this will significantly change the gender ratio to 16 to 1 for females and males, respectively. They also found that the sex-changed lizards are callable of producing eggs and lizards with male chromosomes produce more eggs.

Lead author Clare Holleley, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Canberra's Institute for Applied Ecology, explained in a statement, said "We had previously been able to demonstrate in the lab that when exposed to extreme temperatures, genetically male dragons turned into females. Now we have shown that these sex reversed individuals are fertile and that this is a natural occurring phenomenon."

The new study was published in the journal Nature.


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