Birds’ ability to fly could determine the shape of their eggs
We all know what an egg looks like, right? Well, we might know less than we think: birds’ eggs can be spheres, tears, and caplets all the rest. An interdisciplinary group of scientists may have advanced into the mystery of how these different forms.
A new science study shows that differences in flight capacity could really begin from the egg: birds that take the sky are more elliptical and asymmetric eggs, while land birds (ostriches) are more eggs spherical.
“My colleagues and I were really impressed by the egg-shaped diversity,” says Mary Stoddard, the paper’s first author and an assistant professor at Princeton. “All bird eggs perform a similar function. Feeding and protecting the growing chicken, but in spite of their shared function, developed different forms “.
All eggs are like a supermarket; The vast landscape of bird eggs actually covers a much wider range of means. Brown hawk-egg falcon, for example, is almost a perfect sphere, while the launderer has an egg shaped like a drop of water.
The first step was to characterize the researchers this diversity with two measures. First of all, the ellipticity: begins with a sphere, and to stretch it becomes more elliptical. On the other hand, the asymmetry: sometimes, one end of an egg is sharper than the other. Each of these measurements is one of the continuous values – they can be in the middle and combination, can describe almost all the eggs. ¿Asymmetric elliptical? Like a tear. With spherical symmetry? It’s a sphere, duh.
The researchers attracted 50,000 different forms of eggs 1400 species along these two axes and incredible variety were surprised, more than in other vertebrates that lay eggs. They found that most eggs fell somewhere in the middle, like a chicken egg: a little more elliptical than a sphere, and a little asymmetrical. But how do these forms arise?
Previous research has shown that the shape is determined by the flexible membrane of the egg, a protective layer under the hard shell. This study goes even further to suggest how the shape of the membrane is first determined. Suggests that the properties of the membrane in different parts of the thickness and elasticity of the egg, for example, determine how the shape of the membrane in response to pressure changes. The researchers created a computer model to show how the properties of the membrane in some parts of the egg can affect the overall shape.