They are pure mathematics, and now science has determined the universal equation of the bird egg. They come in different sizes and shapes, but they all have several surprising aspects in common. It’s always big enough to hatch an embryo. And small enough to exit a female’s body in the most efficient manner. Structurally, it is solid enough to support the weight of the incubator. It is ideally shaped so that it does not roll around like a sphere.
This is not a trivial matter. A protect a delicate collection of cells destined to become an organism. It has been the vector of life for thousands of species throughout history. It has been variously referred to as the “perfect form”. And it has attracted the attention of mathematicians, engineers and biologists.
Some unknowns were solved by a team of scientists at the University of Kent. It unveiled the universal equation of the bird’s egg. A universal mathematical formula. It describes the egg of any species of bird existing in nature. The paper is titled Egg and math: introducing a universal formula for egg shape.
The analysis includes his 4 geometric figures: the sphere, the ellipsoid, the ovoid, and the conic. The first three have a clear mathematical definition. But no formula had been derived for defining the pyriform profile. “We introduced an additional function into the formula for the ovoid,” the scientists explain.
The new formula is based on 4 parameters. Egg length, diameter at a quarter of this length, maximum width and vertical axis displacement. It is a significant step in understanding how it evolved. Understanding that will make possible its application in many different fields, from biology to engineering.
Another example of its applicability can be found in architecture. This form can support maximum loads with a minimum use of materials. Proof of this is the roof of London’s Town Hall. Or the one commonly known as “the Gherkin”, a neo-futurist skyscraper in London.
“We expect to see the application of this formula across industries,” say experts. “From architecture and agriculture, to technology, to art,” they conclude.