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Science & Technology

Scientists crack mystery of avian egg shape

June 24, 2017 | Comment icon 9 comments

Why are eggs shaped the way they are ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 NottsExMiner
Researchers have finally worked out why some bird eggs are rounder while others are more pointy.
The traditional, rounded shape of a hen's egg needs no introduction, but when you look at the eggs of other bird species it quickly becomes apparent that their shape is anything but consistent.

Exactly why this should be the case is a mystery that has puzzled scientists for centuries.
Now though, an international group of researchers believe that they may have finally found the answer and it is all to do with the flying ability of the bird that laid the egg.

"In contrast to classic hypotheses, we discovered that flight may influence egg shape," said lead researcher Dr Mary Stoddard. "Birds that are good fliers tend to lay asymmetric or elliptical eggs."

"In addition, we propose that the stretchy egg membrane, not the hard shell, is responsible for generating the diversity of egg shapes we see in nature."

Source: AOL News | Comments (9)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Claire. 5 years ago
YouTube version of the accompanying video for those who cannot access it from the article:  
Comment icon #2 Posted by Matt221 5 years ago
I thought birds like the auk family layer long pointy eggs so they don't fall off the cliffs they nest on and owls etc layer a rounder egg because they make a relatively flat nest/dip in holes......just my rule of thumb thinking of course other bird lay different shape eggs these are just two examples
Comment icon #3 Posted by taniwha 5 years ago
I thought their shape was directly related to ease of laying. How unnatural would it feel to lay a cube?
Comment icon #4 Posted by highdesert50 5 years ago
Birds are evolved to optimize flight to include frequent defecation combining liquids and solids to minimize weight. So, an optimized egg shape makes sense for flight and laying particularly where egg size can be large relative to the bird size. Evolution can be slow but the results are stellar.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
Next they will develop as theory on why animals' excrement are different shapes.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Why not 5 years ago
How much money did this cost us?
Comment icon #7 Posted by rod64 5 years ago
Birds don't know how good they have it. Every one of us strives to get laid, they start their lives off by getting laid.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Matt221 5 years ago
What the article doesn't mention is tortoise eggs the're round 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Almighty Evan 5 years ago

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