Steroids hormones such as estradiol-17β(E2) and testosterone (T) are involved in gonadal differentiation of oviparous animals with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), and are greatly distributed. This hypothesizes that these embryonic steroid hormones probably accumulate in the eggshell throughout blood or/and chorioallantoic fluid in sea turtle species with TSD, producing females at higher temperature. To demonstrate this hypothesis, concentrations of E2 and T in the blood plasma from the hatchling loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and in their eggshells were measured by radioimmunoassay. In the present study we propose that both concentrations of E2 and T in the blood plasma are correlated with amounts of these sex steroids in the eggshell. Moreover, contents of E2 in the eggshell showed a significant positive correlation with mean incubation temperatures during a thermosensitive period in the experimental nests, whereas T contents in the eggshell did not. Taken together, these findings indicated that embryonic E2 and T that accumulated in the eggshell can be extracted and measured. Furthermore, the present study suggested that contents of E2 in the eggshell may differ between male and female, and monitoring of these steroids is a useful method to identify the sex of loggerhead sea turtle hatchling. Copyright \copyright 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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