Source: Science Alert
New research conducted by scientists from Monash University indicates that mother turtles can halt the embryonic growth of their eggs in order to lay them in the most optimal circumstances.
Female turtles release a mucus-like substance in their reproductive track, which creates an environment of low oxygen and stalls egg development. Researchers believe that this ability is controlled by the mother turtle so that she can take into account food scarcity and environmental conditions before laying her eggs.
This phenomenon is a possible explanation of why turtles never evolved the ability to give birth to live young as many snakes and reptiles do. Additionally, researchers hope that this new information will help improve leatherback turtle conservation efforts. More than half of leatherback turtle eggs laid never hatch and it’s now believed that they are not triggered to begin development again.
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