Egg-stra special! Evington family discover an egg within a giant egg
Ariel is a hen that really does give that little bit eggs-tra.
And her latest offering has wowed her owners.
The Mistry family, of Evington village, were amazed when they discovered Ariel had laid a giant egg on Tuesday.
Measuring 11.1cm in height, it weighed a whopping 157g (5.5oz) – compared to an average of just 63g (2.2oz).
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After a bit of research on the internet, mum Sheetal discovered that it might contain a triple yolk.
But when they came to crack the giant shell, they had another surprise – for inside was another – perfectly formed – egg.
Sheetal, 36, said: “I found the giant egg when I came home from work.
“We initially didn’t think it was a big deal, we just thought it was a big double yolk, and my daughters sold it to our neighbour, as we have given up eggs for nine days while celebrating our Navratri festival.
“When I looked on the web that night, I realised it could be a special egg, possibly triple yolk.
“So early the next morning, we asked for it back. Luckily, our neighbour hadn’t had it for breakfast!
“Things got even more interesting when we cracked open the egg to find another intact egg inside.
“Both were fully-formed and healthy, but it was very unusual. After further research on the internet we discovered that an egg within an egg is quite rare.
Sheetal, who teaches science at nearby Judgemeadow School, took the egg into work to show pupils.
She said: “The top of the large egg was very weak, but the egg inside was a lot healthier.
“We thought it was really bizarre. My seven-year-old twins, Anushka and Anaya, asked if it would have hurt the hen, but she laid a normal-sized egg the next day and seems okay.
“I took it into work with me and showed people, including two groups that I teach. Everybody wondered how a hen could lay an egg that big!”
Commenting on the phenomenon – known as ovum in ovo – in the New Scientist magazine, Douglas Russell, curator of the British Natural History Museum egg collection, said: “Double eggs are less common than some other zoological anomalies and consequently the ovum in ovo has attracted specific scholarly attention for hundreds of years.
“Several theories have been proposed for the origin of double eggs. The most likely suggests that the normal rhythmic muscular action, or peristalsis, that moves a developing egg down the oviduct malfunctions in some way.”
The world’s heaviest egg, which was laid by a hen in China, is said to have weighed 201g (just over 7oz).