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What comes first: the egg or the mathematics? Review article

Narushin, Valeriy G., Romanov, Michael N, Griffin, Darren K. (2023) What comes first: the egg or the mathematics? Review article. Biology Bulletin, 50 (3). pp. 237-243. ISSN 1062-3590. E-ISSN 1608-3059. (doi:10.1134/S1062359022602701) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:100833)

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When we wish to describe our Universe, our planet Earth, natural environment, and our surroundings, artists often use imagery, whereas scientists attempt to use mathematical formulae. It begs the fundamental question: was the nature and the universe preceded by a clear mathematical design, or did the mathematic description appear subsequently? In this review, we addressed a biological issue of shapes in nature and, specifically, egg shapes in birds, including poultry, as one of most exciting avian adaptations. In order to compute the shape and volume of eggs as a marker of fitness, discover subtle nuances of the evolution of nest parasitism as in cuckoos, detect double-yolk eggs in poultry, develop methods for hatchability improvement and in ovo sex identification, and other things, an exact description of egg shape is urgently needed. We overviewed here the recent mathematical development of a universal egg shape equation called the Narushin–Romanov–Griffin (NRG) model. Following the Latin term “ab ovo” meaning “from the beginning, the origin, the egg”, the NRG model successfully tried to combine two concepts, biological object and mathematical geometry, and enabled to fulfil the formidable task of describing, mathematically, any bird’s egg. Eventually, a series of mathematical formulae was developed that could define bird eggs of any shape present in nature including spherical, elliptical, ovoid and pear-shaped ones.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1134/S1062359022602701
Uncontrolled keywords: birds; eggs; egg shape model; mathematical geometry; natural ovoids
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA440 Geometry
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH324.2 Computational biology
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA401 Materials engineering and construction
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Reproduction
Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Signature Themes: Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Mike Romanov
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2023 05:33 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2023 18:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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