What's inside an infertile egg?

I let these two eggs incubate for at least several weeks despite the fact that they appeared infertile - just in case I was wrong! After a while, they stopped candling yellow and started candling deep orange, which, in this case meant that the liquid insides had solidified. So, just for fun, I cut them open to look at them.



But it got me wondering - do infertile reptile eggs (in this case, corn snake specifically) not contain a yolk? Why do infertile chicken eggs have a yolk?

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I am curious too. I’m sure that @t_h_wyman would probably be able to provide an answer to this.

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Look like jacket potatoes…

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Haha! They pop right out of the shell too. Weird thing is that the texture is actually identical to a hard boiled egg.

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Well you do have to realize they were exposed to heat and humidity for a long time. That must have something to do with it.

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It’s because they were exposed to heat for a long time and left to sit. If you cut them when they were candling yellow it would have looked almost the same as a chicken egg. But after incubating it for a while the liquid and yolk solidified and changed colors. Since birds are actually reptiles (similar brain, eggs, beaks, etc.) the eggs will appear very similar under similar conditions (time of cutting, fertile/infertile, incubation temperature and humidity, etc.). On this note has anyone ever tried making an omelet out of reptile eggs (with the exception of invasive iguanas and burmese pythons)?

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I personally believe that snake discovery did on their YouTube channel

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Not sure if this will load a video but we will see… Fresh(er) dud egg

I will come back tomorrow with explanations

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They actually weren’t exposed to heat at all. Since they’re corn snake eggs, they just sat at room temperature. Next time I get some duds, I’ll try cutting them open right away. If they have a yolk, wouldn’t you be able to see it when candling?

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So they were exposed to room temperatures. They weren’t sitting in a fridge, they were sitting in a warm room.

And as for seeing the yoke I guess I’ve never thought about the yoke showing up while candling because it’s clear yellow.
So I don’t know if this is any help but I candled a chicken egg from my fridge, lol.
And I found that you can’t see the yoke inside the egg even though you know it is there.


Again I don’t know if this helps at all, it probably makes me look so stupid but it is worth a shot.

  • Edit: I understand that the shell of a chicken egg is different, lol
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I didn’t even think to do that. I guess I pictured the yolk being much more distinct! So if you cut open a freshly laid infertile corn snake egg, would you be able to distinguish the yolk from the ‘white’? Or are they too similar in color and texture?

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I have absolutely zero clue, lol. Mostly due the fact that don’t bred as of now, and the species I would want to work with give live birth.

Quick question, because you have eggs, when you candle you’re looking for the veins not the president of a different color yoke, right? So should you really be able see to the yoke if you’re looking for veins in the first place?

I do believe that they must have a yoke (even though some eggs do not have yolks), but it might not be visible when candling because it’s still clear/opaque like the rest of the fluids contained in the egg.

Yeah, I’ve never tried to see a yolk in fertile eggs, just the veins. But I always assumed it was different than a chicken egg, like maybe a lot smaller or maybe spread out around the inside of the shell or something? I don’t know, never really gave it much thought until recently!

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Well… I see my video only posted as a pic so that was no help to anyone LOL :unamused:

To answer your question Olivia, no, you would not be able to differentiate the yolk in a dud egg if you were to cut it open fresh. I will film another demonstration this evening and post it over on my Instagram if you are interested in seeing how it looks.

The reason this is different from a chicken egg is a matter of development. By the time a fertile egg leaves the female snake, it has already completed a fair portion of its development cycle. For the dud eggs, because nothing is in there developing, proteases and lipases have gone to work and pretty much reduced the inside to a fairly uniform soupy mess

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Thank you! Very helpful. What’s your Instagram? So then the second question would be, if you cut open a fertile egg, would it have a more distinguishable yolk? I would never want to cut open any fertile eggs (and don’t feel obligated to cut any of yours!), so it’s more just a theoretical question.

snakes_n_bakes
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Yep. Because development has started, the yolk and the embryo are distinguishable in a fertilized egg.

(And I have actually cut fertile eggs open before, part of my scientist brain leads me to occasionally perform my own little experiments at home)

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You are a wealth of information! Thank you!

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I made the vid but then I forgot to post as things got busy for me. I will try and remember to do it tonight

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Cool! I followed you, so I’ll be interested to see it.

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