Mary’s Monday Metazoan, for real: Turtles are achieving the feminist ideal!

It’s true. 99% of the hatching Pacific Green Sea Turtles are female, thanks to rising temperatures, since sex determination is temperature dependent in these species.

Will the feminization of the oceans be the change that finally persuades Republicans to do something?

PS. Feminists don’t really want to get rid of males. Well, not all of them. Not all of the time.


  1. billyjoe says

    According to the article, the sex ratio of the green turtle along the Northern Great Barrier Reef, was 6:1 in the 1970s and 1980s, and is now 116:1. The eggs hatch in beach sand, and the hotter the sand temperature the more likely they are to hatch as females. Also rising sea levels is drowning nesting sites, and erosion due to rising sea levels is creating cliffs that defeat the turtles. Both are reducing populations.

    Although there are other variables, like deforestation along the coastal regions, most of these changes are very likely due to climate change.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Pls clarify: do not-all feminists want to get rid of males, or do feminists want to get rid of not-all males?

  3. llyris says

    Pierce R Butler @2
    In short – yes.
    Longer version – Depends on the feminists, depends on the men.
    Longest version – there are always extremists hiding somewhere but the majority of feminists probably only want rid of the most abhorrent specimens. Yanni whatsisface could go die in a fire but most of us are happy to keep PZ around. And that tiny bundle of cute he keeps posting pics of.

  4. unclefrogy says

    interesting response, it would seem that that response of hatching out more females would tend to insure a more eggs and hence more turtles long term, another of the reasons they have been around for so long.
    question how do the turtles go about finding new beaches They must have do it many many times since beaches are by nature unstable?
    uncle frogy

  5. billyjoe says


    The optimal female to male ratio is apparently about 3:1, with each male servicing three females. But the article is more about the hypothesis of the effect of climate change on the sex ratio being confirmed. More heat, more females. They found more females by a larger margin (116:1), so this would be yet more evidence in support of climate change.

  6. Gregory Greenwood says

    I think that if this scenario applied to humans the feminists would mostly be the ones clearly and lucidly explaining to the blokes that increasing the temperature is (not all that) slowly killing the species by means of preventing the birth of sufficient males, while a subset of those blokes were busy trying to turn the thermostat up, probably because they are ideologically committed to the idea that global warming is a con.

    Far from hating men and wishing rid of them, most mainstream feminist women I know are struggling as much to save us from ourselves are they fighting for gender equality, even though all too many of us men are undeserving of their concern.

  7. unclefrogy says

    what I was noticing was the turtles response to the warming, and noting that they have been through this before after all they have been here for a very long time. there response would seem to give them a pretty good chance that they will do fine and may even increase if the change in ratio does not continue to like zero males or for too long, a generation or more and that the increased numbers have newer beaches which are a little cooler to utilize.
    Something like this must have happened at the beginning of the warming after the last ice age though not this fast of course. The question I have will it be too fast for the turtles?
    As you noted this is happening.
    uncle frogy

  8. billyjoe says


    Yes, you should read the article. Amongst the turtles in the southern stretches of Great Barrier Reef, where temperatures are cooler, the female to male ratio is 2:1. However if global temperatures continue to rise, even these turtles will be threatened. They say that a rise of a few degrees could threaten them with extinction.