201. Fertility and Eggs

No wonder eggs have always symbolized fertility and procreation. An egg is the most complex and complete life support system found in nature!

Every feature of the egg is an example of nature’s perfection. Its shape gives its strength like the curving arches and domes supporting the buildings. The egg shells looks very thin and fragile, but try to break it by squeezing the two ends, with a single hand!

The five principal parts of the egg provide the entire life supporting system to the chic in it. The shell, made of calcium carbonate, has two jobs:- to give a firm support to the egg and to supply the chick with the required calcium.

The egg shell is porous with hundreds of tiny pores which allow the moisture to evaporate and oxygen to replace it. As the chic develops, it needs more oxygen and the water content reduces.

In the 21 days the egg needs to incubate, it absorbs more than 8 Pints of oxygen; releases 7 ½ pints of carbon-di-oxide and an amazing 17 ½ pints of water vapour.

The two membranes that line the inner surface of the shell lie close together. But at the larger end of the egg, they separate to form an air pocket. Longer the egg stands; more water vapor and gas escape from it, larger becomes the air pocket.

The Albumen in the egg white contains several crucial proteins, stores water and offers insulation against any sudden change in the outside temperature.

The yolk is a mixture of proteins, fats and carbohydrates suspended in a watery yellow medium in a thin sac. This vitelline membrane allows water, salts, sugar and protein to pass through from the egg white to the egg yolk.

The germ-the tiny blob the size of a pin head- sitting on the yolk, eventually becomes the chick. Not one part of the egg is superfluous. Small wonder that egg has been the time honored symbol of renewal.

Visalakshi Ramani


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