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Old Dec 1 2011, 08:33 PM   #1
Cheryl
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Default Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

Although it's not often brought up, we've seen at least once that gold dragons lay their clutches over the course of a few days. And yet they always hatch together. It never occurred to me before that that was perhaps biologically interesting. That is, until I saw this article today, which perhaps points to a mechanism for it.

Then again, the stolen gold egg did not hatch with its clutchmates, did it? I'm trying to recall the details but I'm fuzzy on them.

And although eggs are layed over several days, they are all fertilized together, so it's not as if the eggs are necessarily at different developmental stages because of it.

Development speed being tied to temperature is also something I never considered, and thought could be an interesting factoid if the Weyrs hatching grounds weren't all the same temp.

Anyhow, I found it interesting and wanted to share.
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Old Dec 1 2011, 10:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

All the time traveling, in White Dragon, neat idea, there is http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/no...heir-own-eggs/ that also, could be of use, Even with all the moving, and keeping the unhatched queen egg, in different places, there is something about changes by a degree making a change 4-5 days, which might help with the queen egg hatching early on.

'dang' wish my mind would stop going between on me, but then, I find hard to translated cause and effect, some how I lose a step, but great find!
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Old Dec 1 2011, 11:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

I would think that the embryos would be starting to develop whether they were already laid or were still inside the mother. A day or two wouldn't make that much difference.

I read that most birds lay their eggs over several days, but the mother doesn't start incubating until they're all laid so that they all start developing at the same time. But that wouldn't apply here, because the eggs go straight from an extremely warm mama dragon to an extremely warm Hatching Ground.
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Old Dec 2 2011, 03:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

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I would think that the embryos would be starting to develop whether they were already laid or were still inside the mother. A day or two wouldn't make that much difference.

I read that most birds lay their eggs over several days, but the mother doesn't start incubating until they're all laid so that they all start developing at the same time. But that wouldn't apply here, because the eggs go straight from an extremely warm mama dragon to an extremely warm Hatching Ground.
"Count three months or more, then five heated weeks"

The bulk of gestation is internal, going by the verse. The latter stage would be building up bulk and maturing the organs. But I guess that's true of turtles too. I'm curious about the very obvious experiment that the article doesn't mention - what happens if you give two halves of a clutch different incubation temperatures, and then DON'T reunite them? Would they still hatch at the same time, or would the warmer, more rapidly developing half crack shell earlier?

We do know that fire lizard clutches are also subject to predation by snakes and wherries, so they'd have the same biological drive to hatch together as turtles do. But where turtles may use hormones, the dragons (and flits) have the advantage of being telepathic. A critical mental mass expressing hunger and the humming dragons welcoming them would all help getting them breaking shell together.
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Old Dec 6 2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

In Dragonsdawn all of the viable eggs hatched over the course of about a day, though they had been engineered days or even weeks apart. This suggests that there are definite outside influnces on when the eggs will hatch. A psychic or audio trigger makes sense - even for the first dragon clutch there were firelizards gathering to encourage hatching, and it could be that the firelizards recognized the eggs as ready to hatch and initiated the process.

I also don't recall any hatchings occuring during Threadfall? If it were a straight timing matter, then it would have to happen at some point - and would likely happen with some regularity. But if it never does, then that is further support of exteral influences on when the eggs hatch.
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Old Dec 6 2011, 12:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

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In Dragonsdawn all of the viable eggs hatched over the course of about a day, though they had been engineered days or even weeks apart. This suggests that there are definite outside influnces on when the eggs will hatch.
Not necessarily. There was a lot of tinkering with the initial genome, but when that related to implanting the material in the actual eggs and switching on the embryo development process, we really don't know. Just saying there's still some wiggle-room there.

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I also don't recall any hatchings occuring during Threadfall? If it were a straight timing matter, then it would have to happen at some point - and would likely happen with some regularity. But if it never does, then that is further support of exteral influences on when the eggs hatch.
Menolly's firelizards did.
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Old Dec 7 2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

This topic reminds me of something I found particularly interesting in Dragonsdawn...

My vote's on external cues too. I remember that the dragon's humming even had a calming influence on Sorka when she was in labor... page 297 of DD. Maybe there's nothing supernatural about it. But it's worth mentioning perhaps? "They have an instinct for birth," Greta the midwife tells Sean in DD.

The embryos activity levels probably increase when they are ready to hatch, just as mamals have hormonal cues that affect thier vitals before they are born. Dragons are social creatures and perhaps have a nutruing instinct to be alert for telepathic cues from the unborn. In the case of the queen egg that thanks to timing matured past her peers I guess they were not inclined to follow because they were just too far undeveloped.

And I bet that if one were to try such an experiment: separating the clutch into two groups, one warmer to promote slightly faster development.. they might hatch separately, but then, I always got the impression from Moreta that eggs have a telepathic connection with thier mother, and that until they hatch they need her to live as they need to bond to a human upon hatching. So maybe distance could never have anything to do with when a clutch hatches. But development rates very likely would.

Then you could say separating an egg from it's mother could kill it, but dragons don't lament thier rider as dead if they time it on another dragon, so that's maybe a shaky explanation for why the queen egg did alright in another time from it's mother. Being so far apart probably was not good for it though. Even though the rules don't make sense, that seemed to be how Anne expected it to work.

sorry for being wordy again. X/ I'm really working on it, I promise.
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Old Dec 24 2011, 05:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodalle View Post
This topic reminds me of something I found particularly interesting in Dragonsdawn...

My vote's on external cues too. I remember that the dragon's humming even had a calming influence on Sorka when she was in labor... page 297 of DD. Maybe there's nothing supernatural about it. But it's worth mentioning perhaps? "They have an instinct for birth," Greta the midwife tells Sean in DD.
<snip>

sorry for being wordy again. X/ I'm really working on it, I promise.
That OK, I find it harder to get what I've got on my mind across, I can 'see' what you are saying, we see them reacting to the births of many, from human to animals to the dragons, I also recall Sorka and Sean reacting to the support of own fairs of fire lizards, and the reaction of Sorka birth, the queen understanding that the person Sorka wanted was Greta, and sent the fire lizards to get her, her reaction to the pain of the birth, and the effect of the medication that stop her fussing at the birth in DD
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Old Dec 25 2011, 12:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

I think the reason the queen egg hatched earlier is because it was gone for several day when it was stolen.
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Old Dec 29 2011, 04:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

I would have thought that important time period wasn't laying-to-hatching, but insemination-to-hatching.
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Old Dec 29 2011, 09:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Eggs layed days apart, hatch together

Mawra, that's right - the queen egg in TWD had been gone for so long that it was much harder than the rest of the clutch, and it hatched soon after. They had to scramble to get the candidates assembled. The rest of the clutch hatched later.
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