Egg: What You Should Know

Eggs are formed in the wombs of many animal mothers. Inside an egg is a small egg cell. This gives rise to a young animal when a male has fertilized it. Eggs are found in birds and most reptiles, formerly also in dinosaurs. Fish also lay eggs, as well as arthropods, i.e. insects, centipedes, crabs, and arachnids, as well as several other animal species.

An egg consists of a tiny germ cell. This is just a single cell that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Around it lies the food that the young animal needs until it hatches. Outside is a skin. Such eggs are as soft as rubber, like turtle eggs. Bird eggs still have a hard shell of lime around the skin.
The individual parts of a hen’s egg that has been broken open are easy to recognize: the yellow part, the yolk, is on the inside. It is sometimes also called “yolk”. The yolk is wrapped in a thin, transparent skin, much like candy. This skin is twisted together on the outside and attached to the eggshell. That way the yolk doesn’t shake around too much. The yolk floats in the egg white. This is sometimes called “protein”. But that is unclear because protein is a substance that also occurs in meat, for example.

On the skin of the yolk, you can clearly see the whitish germ disk. You might have to turn the yolk carefully. The chick develops from the embryonic disc. Yolk and egg white are its food until it hatches.

The animal mothers lay their eggs when they are mature. Some animals incubate their eggs in the nest as most birds do. The mother usually incubates the eggs, sometimes alternating with the father. Other animals lay the eggs somewhere and then abandon them. Turtles, for example, bury their eggs in the sand. The sun then provides the necessary heat.

Mammals don’t have eggs. They have only one ovum or germ cell. It’s a single cell, tiny and invisible to the naked eye. In women, an egg matures about once a month. If she has had intercourse with a man around this time, a baby may develop. The baby feeds on the nourishment in its mother’s blood.

What eggs do people eat?

Most of the eggs we eat come from chickens. Other bird eggs are, for example, from ducks. Often these birds live on huge farms, where they have little space and cannot get outside. Male chicks are killed immediately because they will not lay eggs. Vegans think that’s bad and therefore don’t eat eggs.

Some people like fish eggs. The best known is called caviar and comes from sturgeon. In order to collect these eggs, one must cut open the sturgeon. That’s why caviar is very expensive.

For example, people eat boiled eggs for breakfast. In the pan, you make scrambled eggs or fried eggs. However, we also often eat eggs without seeing them: in large factories, egg yolk and albumen are processed for food.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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