How do you know the sex of a turtle

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When sea turtles are juveniles, it is very difficult to tell their sex by eye as they do not differ externally. However, after reaching sexual maturity male sea turtles develop a long tail , which houses the reproductive organ. The tail may extend past the hind flippers. Male sea turtles except leatherbacks have elongated, curved claws on their front flippers to help them grasp the female when mating. The sex of a sea turtle embryo is determined by the temperature of the sand: warm temperatures result in more females while cooler temperatures result in more males. We use cookies.
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How to Tell the Gender of a Turtle

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It is often difficult to determine the gender of a pet turtle, especially if you did not purchase it from a breeder that hatched them from controlled temperature environments. The temperature during egg incubation is what determines whether an embryo will become a male or female; cooler incubation temperatures produce males and females develop in warmer temperatures. Thankfully there are some types of turtles that make it easier than others to distinguish a male from a female without knowing their incubation temperature. Red-eared sliders , for example, demonstrate sexual dimorphism and have distinct differences in size and appearance between the sexes. For male red-eared sliders , sexual maturity is about the time they reach 4 inches in length and at about two to five years old. Females will grow larger than males in red-eared sliders and many other turtle species, but the size difference between males and females varies by species.
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How do you tell whether a turtle is male or female?

Last Updated: February 3, References Approved. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. This article has 63 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,, times.
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A Green turtle hatchling heads to sea in the northwest Hawaiian islands. In most species, gender is determined during fertilization. However, the sex of most turtles , alligators, and crocodiles is determined after fertilization. The temperature of the developing eggs is what decides whether the offspring will be male or female. This is called temperature-dependent sex determination, or TSD.
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