My laundry was recently spattered with ‘little messages’ from a local band of marauding blackbirds. My first question was ‘Why do they have such a good aim, hitting only my washing?’ Then I got to thinking, if these birds eat little black insects, worms, occasional seeds, bread etc, why are their droppings white?
So, can you tell me why bird droppings are the colour they are?
Well done to Ottalie, our resident ‘eggspert’.
As she says, some people have proposed that eggs are shaped as they are to prevent them rolling off/out of the nest. There is evidence that seabird eggs are less spherical (rounded) so they can roll in a tighter arc and are less likely to roll out of the nest. Other reasons given have been that it allows eggs to fit more snugly together in the nest, with smaller air spaces between them, This will cut down on heat loss.
Lastly, the shape of an egg does give a great degree of mechanical strength. Try applying equal pressure to all sides of an egg at the same time. It is hard to break the egg. I’ve seen a kid actually stand on the top/pointed end of an ostrich egg and it didn’t break (see picture above)
However, recent research in Belgium (Brussels Institute of Oology) has shown selective pressure on egg shape in battery chickens to evolve to fit standard Ikea egg cups. Allegedly……….
Those of you with a liturgical awareness will realise Sunday is Easter Sunday, a very important time of the year for Christians.
So, why are eggs egg shaped?
Small egg shaped prize for best/correct answer.
Congratulations to Mrs Sanderson. Her answer was straight to the point. She obviously ‘knuckled down’ and did some research!! The gas coming out of solution in joints will show up as an arc on an x-ray. It is a method used to detect hip abnormalities in kids as well as indicating when children have been held by the arms.
Ever wondered what happens when yer knuckles crack?
Quick question for all you nimble minded science students…in which subject would you find the theory behind the development of Cole’s Law?
Follow this link and get your free poster of British reptiles.
Graet tie-in with the current BBC series ‘Life in cold blood’.
Wed 27th Feb – Group 2: Gas cannons. Bring a small plastic juice bottle
Wed 5th March – Group 1: Gold coins. Bring a shiny 1p or 2p coin
Wed 12th March – Group 2: Gold coins. Bring a shiny 1p or 2p coin
This club traditionally starts up after the October half term and runs until the Easter break. In June there is also a competition at Heriot Watt University for a lucky four members of the chemistry club!
See Mr Evans in Science for details.
Some of the activities will include….
- Crystal gardens
- Fireworks and flames
- Custard behaving strangely
- Bouncy custard balls
- Gas cannons
- Gold coins