NPR

How Do Eggs Get Their Shapes? Scientists Think They've Cracked It

Eggs evolved over 300 million years ago and now come in all kinds of shapes, from Tic Tacs to teardrops to pingpong balls. After studying some 50,000 eggs, a team of researchers thinks it knows why.
An international team of scientists believes it has solved the mystery of how eggs got their shapes. Source: Frans Lanting

One of nature's most efficient life-support systems is the egg. Eggs evolved over 300 million years ago as vertebrate animals adapted to living on land. And since then, they've taken on numerous shapes, especially among birds.

Biologists have long wondered why there are so many shapes

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readPsychology
Shhhhh. Listen Closely. Your Plants Might Be Talking
With extremely sensitive microphones, a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden shows it's possible to hear the sounds that plants make when they're growing.
NPR3 min read
'The Downstairs Girl' Faces Difficult History With Joy And Style
In Stacey Lee's new novel, an opinionated and talented Chinese American girl makes her way in Reconstruction-era Atlanta while preserving her secret work as an advice columnist in the local paper.
NPR4 min read
'My Papi Has A Motorcycle' Pays Loving Tribute To A California Childhood
Author Isabel Quintero and illustrator Zeke Peña worked together on My Papi Has a Motorcycle, a homage to Quintero's childhood in California's Inland Empire, and to her hard-working father.