Transgender lizard discovered
03 July 2015, 14:01
Sydney - A lizard that changes its sex while basking in sunshine has been discovered in Australia.
The phenomenon has never before been seen in reptiles in the wild and the proportion of females is getting bigger because of the growing temperatures of their natural woodland habitat.
The cold-blooded Australian Central Bearded Dragon is able to change the sex of its embryos that start off with two Z chromosomes - making them genetically male - meaning they develop into a female as the temperature gets warmer.
This means their sex is entirely determined by egg incubation temperatures.
Scientists believe that the findings highlight the potential role of global warming in changing the biology of climate-sensitive reptiles.
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