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Heat can cause bearded dragons to change sex

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The life of the Australian central bearded dragon is not an easy one. These scaly creatures have to fend off extreme heat up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, survive years-long droughts and rainfall cycles, and avoid being hunted by feral cats, foxes, or other lizards—anything that could get their claws on them.

Biologists think it may have been these harsh conditions that led the dragons to need more babies and to develop an unusual evolutionary trait: the ability to produce females by both chromosomal and temperature-dependence. Now through genetic sequencing, biologists are coming to understand the ancient cellular mechanisms that make this possible, as shown in findings published in PLOS Genetics.

Pogona vitticeps dragons can produce females through genetic sex determination, where chromosomes determine sex, like humans do. But they can also go through temperature-dependent sex reversal, when a male embryos’ chromosomes are overridden when incubated at high temperatures to produce a female.


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Posted (edited)

This goes for many lizards and reptiles. if incubating eggs, you can more or less decide what sex the offspring will be

Also, at more extreme ranges, 'hot' females and males can be produced that are pretty much incompatible with others

Edited by HandsomeGorilla
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