Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Matthew Grober - Chair

Second Advisor

Dwight Lawson

Third Advisor

Andrew Clancy


Captive husbandry programs in zoos have documented nesting behavior and have successfully hatched Manouria emys emys, but data on sex determining mechanisms and sex ratios are absent. A total of 30 M. e. emys eggs were artificially incubated at five different temperatures in constant humidity. Mean incubator temperatures were 24.99°C, 25.06°C, 27.18°C, 28.00°C, and 30.79°C. Incubation duration ranged from 60 days to 92 days, and hatching success was 50%. Sex determined by histology and laparoscopy resulted in male differentiation at low temperatures (24.99°C, 27.18°C) and female differentiation at high temperatures (30.79°C). Pivotal temperature was estimated to be 29.29°C. The following investigation into temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), including its presence or absence, pattern, and pivotal temperature, has implications for studies of adaptive significance of reproductive behaviors and of chelonian phylogenetic history. Additionally, the proposed study can provide foundations for conservation management decisions, and for captive breeding programs.


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