The Mary river turtle - an endangered short-necked turtle that inhabits the Mary River in South-East Queensland, Australia - will suffer from a combination of physiological and behavioural problems if climatic warming that has been pronounced for the area indeed happens, a new research has shown.
The scientists incubated turtle eggs at 26, 29 and 32 degrees Celsius.
AdvertisementYoung turtles, which developed under the highest temperature showed, reduced swimming ability and a preference for shallower waters.
"Deeper water not only provides the young turtles with protection from predators but is also where their food supply is found," explains PhD researcher, Mariana Micheli-Campbell.
"Young turtles with poor swimming abilities which linger near the surface are unable to feed and are very likely to get picked off by birds.
"These results are worrying as climate change predictions for the area suggest that nest temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius are likely to be reached in the coming decades," she added.
The study will be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual conference in Glasgow.