Easter time is almost upon us, so to celebrate the festival of ‘new life our latest blog focuses on a very special kind of egg. This one isn't made of chocolate and is not produced by Cadbury instead its produced by an ostrich. The eggs of these incredible birds are almost as interesting as they are. Read on to discover 10 things you didn't know about ostrich eggs:
1. An ostrich is the world's largest bird so it's no surprise their eggs follow suit. Ostrich eggs are the largest in the world; 5.9 inches long, 5.1 inches wide and weighing in at around 3-5 pounds each.
2. However, if measured by the ratio of the weight of the egg to the weight of the bird, the eggs produced are actually the smallest.
3. After copulation the male creates what is known as a communal pit; 12–24 inches deep and almost 10ft wide. The dominant female then lays her eggs first before being followed by others in the group.
4. While the pit is filled with seemingly identical eggs each female can easily identify their own. Females, known as hens, can lay 40-100 eggs every year. Hens will lay as often as 1 egg every two days during mid-March till mid-August.
5. Males and females work together to incubate the eggs. Males take the night shift while females keep the egg safe during the day. This isn't just so the ladies can get their beauty sleep; in their natural African habitat a females brown/grey plumage blends brilliantly with the sandy terrain while males jet black feathers render them practically invisible during the night, providing perfect camouflage and protection.
6. In spite of this only around 10% of ostrich nests survive. The incubation period lasts around 35-45 days and during that time nests are raided by hungry predators. In spite of growing around 9.8 inches a day during the first year of life this threat continues. However if they can survive until adulthood an ostrich can live up to around 45 years.
7. A humming bee lays the smallest egg of any bird in the world, when you compare this to the size of just one laid by an ostrich you could fit 4700 humming bee eggs comfortably inside it.
8. The colour of an ostrich egg varies only slightly, from cream to pearl white, the shells of which are extremely strong. They are capable of supporting the weight of an adult man and can be 1.5 mm thick.
9. The eggs are rich with nutritional value and house an incredible 2000 calories. Vitamins A and E and thiamine are found in the eggs which are predominantly comprised of proteins and fats. A very healthy breakfast if you're ever stuck for a meal in the African wilderness.
10. To hard boil an ostrich egg it would take you around 90 minutes soft boiling will take slightly less time at 50 minutes. It is big enough to make an omelette for 15 people.
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