It’s no yoke! Odd egg discovered in Fordingbridge

According to Salisbury Journal"This peculiar-looking egg was picked up by reader Eileen Witt of FordingbridgeShe said: “This is the first time I have ever seen an egg like this. I have been picking up eggs on Midgham Farm, Fordingbridge for the past eight years. I still have it, I’ve not eaten it yet.”

I wonder if it has anything to do with heterozygotes or gynandromorphs or ????

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Interesting. I've never before seen such an egg.

Or whether it's a scam: have you ever seen an egg with wood grain on it? (Little skeptical thinking here) Easy enough to carve one and spray paint part of it white. I wonder whether Snopes will pick it up.

Oh! you are so observant! I am still gullible. I think you are correct. There are wood grain patterns on the egg. 

I recognize that egg.It is a zebra egg. That explains the dark and white bands interjoined. They have a baby zebra in the making.

It is the darndest thing, people can tell me strange stories with a straight face, and I believe them. Like, Jesus loves me, or pray, and it will be given, or I will never be given more than I can endure, or a zebra comes from eggs. Jeeze! What would I do without all you good people. I am disappointed though, I was hoping a heterozygotes or gynandromorphs would come out of it.  

Don't worry about it Joan. YOU are the result of a heterozygote, although I'm pretty sure you're not a gynandromorph. But so are most of the rest of us. A heterozygote is merely a fertilized ovum in which the gene being studied differs in the father's contribution vs. the mother's. So even the wood from which it was carved was from a tree that was most likely a heterozygote in at least one locus.

On the other hand I guess the tree must be a gynandromorph since it both secretes pollen (male gametes) and has flowers with an ovary-like stucture to produce seeds, which would be the female part. A little more complicated in humans, and much rarer, although it DOES happen -- usually called hermaphroditism. 

So there you go -- got what you wanted! :-)

Wow - that is cool- Thank you Joan.

I'm guessing this is a very low-quality photo of a real egg. Usually pigment is deposited more or less evenly on the egg in the bird's oviduct; the color is genetically determined.

The woodgrain-like banding and the stepped solid colors are also visible in the white part of the shell, which makes me think the range of colors in the photo got squashed.

Here's an egg from Wikipedia, which I posterized at different levels to get a similar "woodgrain" effect. The effect replaces very similar shades with single, solid colors:

It's interesting that the real woodgrain of the tabletop suffers much less than the egg or the wall behind it!

That's just what I was going to mention. The woodgrain on the tabletop in the Salisbury photo seems not to have suffered at all, whereas it's very clear in your photos. And the graining, even in your most subtle one, shows wide bands of color, whereas hers shows only narrow ones.

Which is not to say you're wrong, only that I'm picking the idea apart to see whether I can come to any firm conclusions. Which actually is not likely -- I'd really like to see it verified by some external source -- for all we know she could merely have submitted the picture to the journal, and they took it uncritically. But I could be making THAT up, too, LOL!!

Here are three subtler posterization settings. (From upper left, unposterized, 32 levels, 28 levels, 24 levels. The previous photo had 20, 16, and 12, quite exaggerated.) At these settings, the real woodgrain looks fine, but the egg gets subtle, or not-so-subtle, banding.

It's analogous to the lines of equal elevation in topographic maps, visualizing continuous slopes as bands and swirls.

(Geek note: "12 levels" doesn't mean only 12 different colors in the image; it means each primary color (red, green, blue) can be one of 12 levels, and those are then mixed. In the typical digital photos we see, each primary can be one of 256 levels.)

OK, I get your point. The lower right picture is pretty similar to hers, and you're right, the real wood grain doesn't suffer. And she has no background wall in her picture.

Next on the conjecture list is, you say color in eggs is genetically determined. So why would a hen who genetically lays brown (for example) eggs, suddenly form a white segment on an egg? It's almost like she's spray painting, and switched colors for a moment!

Grinning Cat,  I really like your demonstrations! It is amazing what you can do with your computer. 


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