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egg laying time
The following on egg laying and incubation is from Bertram, B. 19992,
The Ostrich communial nesting system. Princeton University Press. 196p.
Ostriches lay at 2-3 day intervals, as does the Rhea (no data for other
ratites). Incubation does not begin until after ~16 eggs are laid by
the ostrich (i.e., 32-38 days), but sometimes later if potential
predation is low. As a result, the eggs undergo considerable daily
temperature fluctuation (20C-40C) until incubation begins (stable
temperature of 36C). Egg hatching is synchronized by controlling the
temperature of individual eggs, i.e., slowed by pushing them away from
the parent (heat source) and sped up by keeping them closer to the
parent. Thus, eggs laid 32+ days appart will still hatch within two
days of one another.
Dept. of Earth Sciences
Denver Museum of Natural History
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205