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Day 1: The Journey Begins

The Albumen

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As the ovum travels down the oviduct to be laid, it is covered by albumen. The albumen is divided into an inner and outer layer by a fibrous layer. The inner layer usually becomes thicker near the yolk. The chalazae act to suspend the yolk in the albumen by anchoring it to the inner surface of the shell on either end of the egg (like a hammock). The inside of the shell is lined by a double-layered shell membrane. At the large end of the egg the double membrane separates to form an air pocket. If the temperature of the egg changes, or if some of the water in the egg evaporates,the air pocket becomes larger. Can you think of why this would occur?


Egg Anatomy
Text and graphic by Janet Sinn-Hanlon

- Page 10 of 12 -

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