Nearly every sea turtle born on the beaches of Florida in the past four years has been female.
The spike in female baby turtles comes as a result of intense heatwaves triggered by a growing climate crisis that is significantly warming up the sands on some beaches.
If a turtle’s eggs incubate below 27˚C (82˚F), the turtle hatchlings will be male. If the eggs incubate above 31˚C (89˚F), the hatchlings will be female. Temperatures that waver between the two extremes will result in a mix of male and female baby turtles.
Researchers also discovered that the warmer the sand, the higher the ratio of female turtles.
The uneven male-to-female ratio is a growing concern among scientists who worry that the sea turtle population will eventually become stunted.