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largest cell on Earth?

Brian Scott brians at interlog.com
Tue Feb 18 17:10:46 EST 1997

In article <33096943.1CD7 at Bris.ac.uk>,
Andrew Doherty  <A.Doherty at Bris.ac.uk> wrote:
>> >long. Is the ostrich's egg really a single cell?!
>> >
>> >ciao,
>> >'gene
>> Sure it is...isn't it?  I mean, it's an ovum and if it's fertilized
>> it starts dividing right?  Help me out here people!  :-)
>> Brian
>Well, I'm not so sure an ostrich egg, as such, is a single cell. Surely
>the ostrich ovem is the cell, which becomes the egg i.e. produces the
>shell, yolk sac, albumin...etc. So the ostrich egg may only contain one
>cell, but is not itself that cell - I think - sort of - d'ya get what I
>mean? I'm not sure I do, but then I'm not an ostrich biologist!!!

According to _Molecular Biolog of the Cell_ by Alberts et al.,  bird's 
eggs are single cells.  In _Biological Science - Principles and Patterns 
of Life_ by G. Wilson, he describes factors determining the size of cells 
and in the last sentence says, "...the points just stated do not, 
however, explain the existence of such large cells as the ostrich egg..."

I still haven't found a source actually stating that an ostrich egg is in 
fact the largest known cell, but remember reading that somewhere (or was 
is seeing it on Beakman's World?).

>Dr Andrew Doherty		email -  a.doherty at bris.ac.uk
>Dept. Anatomy			Tel (0117)9287421
>School of Medical Sciences	Fax (0117)9287402
>University of Bristol
>University Walk
>Bristol UK
>BS8 1TD

Brian Scott                    | "They are in you and in me; they created us,
brians at interlog.com            |  body and mind; and their preservation is
 M.Sc. Neurophysiology student |  the ultimate rationale for our existence."
 University of Toronto, Canada |         - Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene)

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