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Tuesday, June 12, 2012
As a bird curator, I frequently find myself being asked, “What is your favorite bird?” People are always surprised by my answer: “The one that is still in an egg!” So at this time of year, I have a lot to be eggcited about.
I am fascinated by the structure and function of eggs. The idea that a bird can appear out of one in as few as 11 days (or as many as 85!) still astounds me.
Despite this broad range of incubation times for different species of bird, every stage of embryonic development occurs in consistent order across all 10,000-plus species, resulting in an amazingly specific choreography of development and hatching. Each species, however, requires its own particular temperature, humidity and other nest conditions to result in a successful hatch.
Take a crack at these fun facts about eggs to see how many you know:
Already in 2012, crested wood partridge, Bourke’s parrots, white stork, fairy bluebird, sunbittern, swan goose, Northern pintail, Micronesian kingfisher, blue-grey tanager and pheasant pigeon eggs have successfully hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo.
The next time you crack open an egg, take a minute to think about how amazing it really is!
Colleen Lynch is Lincoln Park Zoo’s Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds.
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