Last Updated on January 5, 2021 by Neil Mackengie
Usually, the larger the bird the larger the egg it lays. But the size of a bird’s egg is not always dependent on the size of the parent bird. It really depends on the amount of food necessary to nourish the growing germ up to the point of hatching. Birds that are able to take care of themselves a short time after hatching come from large eggs. In these eggs, there was enough food yolk to bring them to a high state of development they were hatched.
Birds that are born blind and helpless come from relatively small eggs, in which there was not enough food to develop them to the point of self-support at birth. Not all eggs are shaped like hen’s eggs. Some birds lay cylindrical, spherical, and even pear-shaped eggs. The eggs of some birds nesting in high, exposed places are shaped in such a way that there is little danger of their rolling and breaking.
When it comes to the size of an egg, the ostrich is the champion. Ostrich eggs measure l5 to 17 centimeters long and 13 to IS centimeters across. It has been found that an ostrich eggshell will hold from 12 to 18 hens’ eggs!
While the ostrich lays the largest eggs of any bird living today, there have been birds that would have considered an ostrich egg tiny! The extinct elephant bird, or roc, of Madagascar, laid the largest eggs ever known. Complete shells of these eggs have been found and measured. Some of them are 33 centimeters long and 23 to 26 centimeters in diameter. The shell of these eggs will hold about eight liters, and that’s six times as much as an ostrich egg will hold, and nearly 150 times as much as a hen’s egg will hold!
The smallest eggs are produced by hummingbirds. Some species of hummingbirds lay eggs that are only six millimeters in length.
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