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jerry jackson
Photographed by Bette Jackson

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Source: Bird Eggs 5

Length of Segment: 00:01:14

Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Bird eggs vary tremendously in size, reflecting the size of chicks and the extent to which the new hatched chick is developed. Eggs that are relatively large compared to the size of the bird are laid by birds like chickens, ducks, or killdeer whose chicks are capable of moving around and feeding themselves shortly after hatching. The eggs must be large enough to contain all the nutrients needed for the full development of a chick. The incubation period in such birds is long, often nearly a month, to allow for such development. Hummingbirds and many songbirds are so small that they can only lay eggs that are small and contain minimal nutrients. These eggs usually hatch within two weeks, producing helpless chicks that must be fed. Most of their development must take place after the young have hatched. The largest egg laid by any living bird is produced by an ostrich, but this is also the smallest egg laid by a bird relative to the size of the bird. The kiwi hold the record for the laying the largest egg relative to the size of the bird. A female kiwi weighs about four pounds, and she lays an egg that weighs about a pound.

'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.

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