Sunday, December 4, 2011

Turtle Eggs Speak Before Hatch

Australian species of river turtle (Emyduramacquarii) lay a set of eggs in the sand river. Eggs that laid lower have development more slowly than above. However, eggs in the second part turned out to be hatched together.

Ricky-John Spencer from University of Western Sydney in Australia intrigued by that fact. He suspects that the eggs are "talking" first before hatching.

To prove his hunch, he designed experiments. Spencer dividing the number of eggs into two parts. One part was incubated at higher temperatures, while other parts were incubated at lower temperatures. After a two-thirds of the development of eggs, both parts then put back together.

According to Spencer, the two parts of the egg might communicate chemically. "Eggs were actually breathing. They breathe in oxygen and release CO2," he said as quoted by New Scientist.

Spencer explained that the faster development of eggs of CO2 would spend more. The concentration of CO2 is the kind of "call" as well as a trigger to make another egg grow faster.

Spencer's research results published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B latest edition of November 2011. Spencer explained that hatched together is very important for the survival of sea turtles. This will ensure that vulnerable individuals are protected from predators. They have friends who protect.

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