Penguin eggs don’t hatch unless they have been rotated and maths can help us understand why! 🐧 🙌🏻 As we all know, eggs contain a round yellow yolk surrounded by a fluid egg white (called the albumen)🍳 The albumen contains important nutrients that the baby penguin needs to grow!
When a penguin lays an egg, the embryo develops at the top of the yolk. The density of the embryo compared to the yolk means that it always returns to the top of the yolk (since it is buoyant like a float in a swimming pool) . As well as this, the density of the yolk compared to the albumen means that the yolk (and therefore the embryo) always return to the very top of the egg! 🥚
When a penguin rotates their egg, the yolk and embryo slowly move back to the top of the egg. This creates a flow which mixes the nutrients in the albumen so that the embryo gets everything it needs to grow 😀
This mixing can be mathematically modelled using fluid dynamics!
It is important to know why penguins turn their eggs so that artificial incubators can be made to turn the eggs in the best way!