Responsible for the continuation of more than 10.500 species since the time of the dinosaurs, eggs have been described as “nature's most perfect shape”. And it is exactly this form that has intrigued mathematicians, engineers and biologists for hundreds of years. Or intrigued.

Scientists at the University of Kent in the UK, experts at the Research Institute for Environmental Treatment in Ukraine, and technicians from the company Vita-Market claim to have solved the riddle in a way that is big enough to contain and incubate an embryo without getting in the way. the process of being expelled by the birds' bodies.


The scientists published the discovery in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, a scientific journal edited by the New York Academy of Sciences, in the United States.

perfect geometry

Until now, all egg shape analyzes had been based on four geometric figures: spherical, ellipsoid, ovoid and piriform (pear-shaped). The Kent scientists introduced an additional function to the piriform, thus developing a mathematical model suitable for a completely new geometric shape, characterized as the last phase of spherical-ellipsoidal evolution, which is applicable to the geometry of all eggs.

image: Shutterstock

The new mathematical formula for the shape of the eggs is based on four parameters: egg length, maximum width, vertical axis offset and diameter at the height of one quarter of the egg's length.

Pursued for years, the new formula represents a significant advance in understanding the shape of the egg itself, but also how and why it evolved—hopefully enabling a wide variety of biological and technological applications. Food research, mechanical engineering, agriculture, biology, architecture and aeronautics already used mathematical descriptions of all the basic egg shapes and are some of the areas where the new formula could have the most impact.

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New possibilities

The new formula represents an important advance with possible applications in different sectors. Now that the shape of an egg can be described with a mathematical formula, the work of biological systematization and optimization of processes, such as incubation and selection of birds, will become easier. The external characteristics of an egg are vital for researchers and engineers who develop technologies for hatching, storing and selecting eggs.

You need to simplify the identification process using just the volume, radius, surface or curvature of the egg — and the newly developed formula offers a solution in this regard. Not to mention the possibilities for architecture and engineering. The egg is a natural system studied for the development of cutting edge technologies.

London Eye
The London Eye image: Shutterstock

the egg in architecture

In architecture, ovoid shapes are common, such as the London City Hall, the London Eye Ferris Wheel pods and other buildings around the world. The proportions allow it to support maximum loads with minimal material consumption. The new egg formula should also help in this area. Michael Romanov, visiting researcher at the University of Kent, argues that “this mathematical equation underscores our understanding and appreciation for a certain philosophical harmony between mathematics and biology, and for a greater understanding of our universe from them, clearly understood in the form of a egg".

“This groundbreaking study reveals why collaborative research from different disciplines is essential,” concludes Valeriy Narushin, who was also involved in the project.


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