Caption: Chicken eggshell surface. Shown here are the surface mineral crystals that form many tiny pores in the bird eggshell. Eggshells are the outer covering of hard-shelled eggs and of other eggs with soft outer coats. Eggshell structure varies widely among species. Birds and some reptiles produce hard-shelled eggs. Bird eggshells are composed of a protein matrix lined with mineral crystals, usually calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Most of the eggshell is composed of calcium carbonate crystals (approximately 95%). As the chick develops changes in the eggshell allow the passage of carbon dioxide and oxygen and the release of water vapor by way of the eggshell membranes.
Magnification*: x4,000
Type: SEM
Copyright 2009 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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