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Scientists crack mystery of avian egg shape

Posted on Saturday, 24 June, 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)

Tags: Bird, Eggs

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Claire. on 22 June, 2017, 18:58
YouTube version of the accompanying video for those who cannot access it from the article:  
Comment icon #2 Posted by Matt221 on 22 June, 2017, 19:31
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 on 23 June, 2017, 1:00
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 on 24 June, 2017, 20:26
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 on 24 June, 2017, 22:29
Next they will develop as theory on why animals' excrement are different shapes.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Why not on 25 June, 2017, 3:03
How much money did this cost us?
Comment icon #7 Posted by rod64 on 25 June, 2017, 14:39
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 on 25 June, 2017, 15:00
What the article doesn't mention is tortoise eggs the're round 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Almighty Evan on 26 June, 2017, 0:56

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