Eggs with different shapes reveal flying capacities


Birds with the best flight capabilities tend to lay eggs with asymmetrical or ellipse shapes.

It is true, in fact the birds’ eggs have different shapes, they can be oval, asymmetrical or spherical, this is mainly due to the flying capacity of the birds that put them. This concludes a study published this week in the scientific journal Science.
According to this study, which is even a prominent topic in the cover of the publication, birds with the best flight capabilities tend to lay eggs with an asymmetrical or ellipse shape.

“Changes in size and shape of eggs of different bird species are not random, but are related to differences in ecology, in particular the degree of adaptation of each species to the activity of flying”, he said, quoted in a statement from the North University Princeton, Joseph Tobias, a researcher at Imperial College in London and also a co-author of this study.

The study based on this research further suggests that the egg membrane (not the shell) is at the origin of the diversity of egg shapes, that is, without the shell, the egg continues to retain its shape.

The international study also proposes that the evolutionary process that resulted in the flight capacity of the birds has also resulted in the reduction of the body size of the birds, especially of the abdominal cavity, and also adds that the shape of the eggs is optimized to achieve the Largest possible volume occupying as little space as possible.

According to the researchers, the discovery that the morphological constraints associated with flight action contribute to the shape of the eggs, further questions the prevailing idea that the shape of the birds’ eggs would only be determined by the usual number of eggs in each posture or simply by the location of nests.

These findings were made possible by an international team of researchers using computational science, comparative biology, mathematics and biophysics tools, according to a statement from Princeton University, which participated in the study.

The sample that was analyzed included about 50,000 eggs from 1,400 different bird species from around the world, whose photographs are from an online database of the Berkeley Vertebrate Zoology Museum in the United States.

All eggs were collected mostly by naturalists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.