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Eggs, they are what's for breakfast!

  1. Jan 31, 2016 #1

    jim mcnamara

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    H Miller et al, 'Human predation contributed to the extinction of the Australian megafaunal bird
    Genyornis newtoni ~47?ka'

    This is eggs-actly what I needed 40 years ago for university Intro Biology. It
    is a simple example of how decreased survivability of offspring
    reduces the fitness of a population. Early humans ate lots of the very large
    eggs produced by this species. Fewer eggs means fewer nestlings can survive
    long enough to reproduce.

    Of course I am assuming the stated conclusion in the paper is verifiable.

    But all other things aside, I think non-science folks do much better with
    "homey" everyday examples. What could be more down to earth than cooking and
    eating eggs? 47000 years ago. Ignoring the fact that you would have to fight
    off a 200kg bird every time you wanted eggs with your morning paper.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2016 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    I don't know about your egg theory, but it seems to me having a flock of large, carnivorous birds around decreases your offspring's chances of survivability, ergo, one of you must go.

    There are still birds around which produce large eggs, but AFAIK, there is no preference for a large egg over the much handier smaller eggs you get from a chicken. If you wanted to eat an ostrich egg for breakfast, you'd have to get up early, fight the ostrich for its egg, and assuming you're successful, then you have to cook the danged thing, which will probably take all day, unless you make scrambled eggs for the whole tribe.

    Much easier (and safer) to raise a flock of chickens.
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