Incubation

Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! From easter hunts to breakfast, there are many different uses for eggs...but at the end of the day, eggs represent something very special in the animal world - LIFE! Although us mammals are not in this group (aside from a couple exceptions), many animals give birth to their young by laying eggs. But the babies don't just magically pop out of the eggs right away...that's where incubation comes to help! Incubation is the process in which animals hatch the eggs that have their offspring inside. This is the time where the embryo inside the egg is developing, to reach the stage where the animal can be "born" and start to live and grow. Here are some key factors that help incubation go smoothly, and things can vary between different types of animals that lay eggs (like birds, compared to reptiles, or insects)

  • Many species of bird require a specific temperature for the eggs to incubate correctly.
  • Reptiles, on the other hand, usually do not require a specific temperature...but the temperature the eggs are at during incubation will determine whether more males or more females are born.
  • Birds, especially poultry, will often sit on their eggs to incubate them in a process called brooding.
  • Sea Turtles lay their eggs under sand on beaches, as this keeps them a constant temperature and also protects them from predators.

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