In 2013, Olivier Lourdais, Sophie Lorioux, and Dale DeNardo conducted a study on the impact of the reproductive effort on the muscle size and the constriction strength of female Children’s pythons. Children’s pythons are pure capital breeders, meaning that they do not eat during vitellogenesis, a process in which egg-laying or oviparous species allocate bodily resources including fat, water, and protein to follicles in the ovary that develop into eggs. In their study, the researchers aimed to identify the biological tradeoffs associated with a species that uses only stored bodily resources to allocate toward the development of embryos. The researchers found that female Children’s pythons undergoing vitellogenesis experienced significant muscle loss and constriction strength loss. The researchers’ findings make up an important element in assessing the fitness of a species in the wild as fitness is determined by survivability and ability to reproduce. Additionally, because Children’s pythons have especially low metabolic rates, and the energy constraints associated with reproduction in Children’s pythons are applicable to many other python species.

In 2008 researchers Daniel Warner and Richard Shine tested the Charnov-Bull model by conducting experiments on the Jacky dragon (Amphibolurus muricatus), in Australia. Their results showed that temperature-dependent sex determination(TSD) evolved in this species as an adaptation to fluctuating environmental temperatures. The Charnov-Bull model, proposed by Eric Charnov and James Bull in 1977, described the evolution of TSD, although the model was, for many years, untested. Many reptiles and some fish exhibit non-genetic sex determination, in which an embryos' environment can influence the sex of the adult organism. Environmental conditions such as humidity or population density can alter sex in some organisms, and a widespread form of non-genetic sex determination is temperature-dependent sex determination. TSD reveals how embryonic development can contribute to the evolution of physiological processes. Researchers have documented TSD in a wide range of species, and they continue to investigate how such a sex determining system has evolved.

The sex of a reptile embryo partly results from the production of sex hormones during development, and one process to produce those hormones depends on the temperature of the embryo's environment. The production of sex hormones can result solely from genetics or from genetics in combination with the influence of environmental factors. In genotypic sex determination, also called genetic or chromosomal sex determination, an organism's genes determine which hormones are produced. Non-genetic sex determination occurs when the sex of an organism can be altered during a sensitive period of development due to external factors such as temperature, humidity, or social interactions. Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), where the temperature of the embryo's environment influences its sex development, is a widespread non-genetic process of sex determination among vertebrates, including reptiles. All crocodilians, most turtles, many fish, and some lizards exhibit TSD.

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