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The Most Perfect Thing by Tim Birkhead

About the book

Published by Bloomsbury

How are eggs of different shapes made, and why are they the shape they are? When does the shell of an egg harden? Why do some eggs contain two yolks? How are the colours and patterns of an eggshell created, and why do they vary? And which end of an egg is laid first – the blunt end or the pointy end? These are just some of the questions The Most Perfect Thing answers, as the journey of a bird’s egg from creation and fertilisation to its eventual hatching is examined, with current scientific knowledge placed within an historical context.

Read the first chapter (PDF)

About the author

Tim Birkhead is a professor at the University of Sheffield where he teaches animal behaviour and the history of science. He has written for the Independent, New Scientist and BBC Wildlife. Among his other books are Promiscuity, Great Auk Islands, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Birds which won the McColvin medal, The Red Canary which won the Consul Cremer Prize, The Wisdom of Birds and Bird Sense shortlisted for the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.