Journal für Ornithologie

, Volume 130, Issue 2, pp 207–215 | Cite as

The initial density of avian eggs derived from the tables of Schönwetter

  • Hermann Rahn
  • Charles V. Paganelli
Article

Summary

Two independent sources are presented which show that in spite of differences in relative yolk content, the density of egg content is virtually the same, namely, 1.031 g/cm3, SD=0.003, n=41. This constant allows one to calculate egg volume provided egg mass, shell thickness, shell mass, and surface area of the egg are known and to predict the initial egg density (egg mass/egg volume) using the surface area equation ofPaganelli et al. 1974. Measured initial egg densities reported in the literature for 53 species are compared with calculated values, using for each species the egg dimensions reported in Schönwetter's tables. The mean difference=−0.04 %, SD=0.8 %. Initial egg density values were calculated for all species listed inSchönwetter's Handbuch, and for extant, non-passerine birds ranged from 1.049 to 1.19 g/cm3 (n=3217). Density changes during incubation are discussed.

Zusammenfassung

Zwei voneinander unabhängige Quellen zeigen, daß trotz Unterschiede im Dottergehalt die Dichte des Eiinhalts konstant ist, nämlich 1,031 g/cm3 ±0,003; n=41. Damit kann man das Eivolumen berechnen, wenn Eimasse, Schalendicke, Schalenmasse und Oberfläche des Eies bekannt sind; die anfängliche Eidichte (Eimasse/Eivolumen) läßt sich mit Hilfe der Oberflächengleichung vonPaganelli et al. (1974) berechnen. Meßwerte in der Literatur für die anfängliche Eidichte bei 53 Arten werden mit berechneten Werten vonSchönwetter verglichen. Die mittlere Differenz beträgt −0,04 %. Die Werte für Eidichten frisch gelegter Eier werden für alle Arten, die inSchönwetters Handbuch aufgeführt sind, berechnet; für Nicht-Singvögel variieren sie zwischen 1,049 und 1,19 g/cm3 (n=3217). Dichteänderungen während der Bebrütung werden diskutiert.

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Copyright information

© Verlag der Deutschen Ornithologen-Gesellschaft 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Rahn
    • 1
  • Charles V. Paganelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Physiology — Sherman HallState University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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