Comparison of micrometer- and scanning electron microscope-based measurements of avian eggshell thickness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • B Igic
  • ME Hauber
  • JA Galbraith
  • T Grim
  • DC Dearborn
  • PLR Brennan
  • C Moskat
  • PK Choudhary

Colleges, School and Institutes


The study of avian eggshell structure, including composition, pigmentation, thickness, and strength, has important ecological and economic implications. Previous investigators have used a variety of techniques to derive either direct measures or indirect estimates of eggshell thickness. Assessing the repeatability and method agreement of different techniques is necessary to permit comparison of eggshell thickness values from different studies on various genetic stocks, populations, and species. We recorded and analyzed measurements of eggshell thickness using two methods, micrometers and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), for several Palaeognathae and Neognathae taxa, including nonpasserines and passerines. Applying a tolerance-interval approach, we found that repeatability of measurements for eggs with thinner shells (


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-410
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Field Ornithology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • thickness measurement, electron microscope, tolerance interval, avian eggshell