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BSC 1005L – 22

January 22, 2018

 

Connecting Concepts #1

 

a.     The article, “Sea turtle crisis: Moisture, not just heat impacts sex of sea turtle hatchlings”, found on Sciencedaily.com (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180122091255.htm) captured my attention as it discusses the decline of male sea turtles found in southeast Florida. Being from Miami and releasing sea turtle hatchlings into the ocean before, this article hits close to home. With the decline in male sea turtles, results in a decline of the entire sea turtle population. Sea turtles are a beautiful, graceful, and essential part to their ecosystem and without them an entire oceanic environment could fall apart.

b.     The question the researchers in this article are trying to answer is “why and how moisture affects the nest” – specifically why and how moisture affects the gender of sea turtles produced.  

c.     The article answered their research question in the form of a study conducted by Florida Atlantic University. In the investigation, FAU researchers incubated the eggs of a semi-aquatic turtle, in different settings to determine how environmental factors such as temperature and moisture effect “developmental rate, egg mass, embryo mass and length, and sex ratio”. The researchers collected data that validates that temperature has an effect on the moisture of turtle nests incubation, which disturbs turtle development and gender ratio of the nests. Researchers interpreted this data as essential for understanding climate change’s impact on the environment and its species.

d.     To answer their research question, researchers of this article claimed that higher temperatures result in drier climates to produce more females than males in the sea turtle population.

e.     The claim made by the researchers is scientific as it stated climate change is most likely to blame for the increasing temperature and decrease in moisture, resulting in a decline of male sea turtles being produced. Furthermore, the claim can be observed and tested again to find the same results, as sea turtle eggs were tested through controlled conditions in an incubator. The results of the claim and study can most likely be found again and can be used to make predictions of what is to come in the environment with other species.

f.      While the claim was tested by many people within FAU and the research is supported by the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation, it is difficult to be certain about whether the claim is valid or reliable. The research does seem valid and it is supported by a large foundation, but I do not know if the claim has been peer reviewed or validated by other experts within the field, therefore, I cannot be completely certain about its authenticity.