With the exception of turtles and alligators, laboratory toxicity data are not available for reptiles. In snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina serpentine) from the Great Lakes, USA, dioxins have been shown to affect hatching success and are believed to contribute to deformities including curled, bent, twisted, or absent tail; shortened or absent legs or digits; deformed eyes; recessed lower jaw; reduced body size; undeveloped carapace; presence of absence of scutes; unresorbed yolk sac; and missing claws. In American alligators, several studies suggest that dioxins adversely affect the endocrine and reproductive systems. Most notably, studies involving eggs treated with 2,3,7,8-TCDD show dose-dependent alterations in sex ratio, with a significant occurrence of female gonadal differentiation and increased numbers of females produced at birth despite ambient temperatures that should produce a higher percentage of male offspring.
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