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Mystery Cache

Eggs & Bacon

A cache by OHMIKY (adopted by Lonnolt) Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 12/26/2006
In Ohio, United States
Difficulty:
3.5 out of 5
Terrain:
2 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

cache is not at listed coordinates
solve the puzzle below to find the actual coordinates

Bluebird egg variation in color
Bluebird egg variation in color
Bluebird egg variation in color
The default color of vertebrate eggs is the white of the calcium carbonate from which the shells are made, but some birds, mainly passerines, produce colored eggs. The pigments biliverdin and its zinc chelate give a green or blue ground color, and protoporphyrin produces reds and browns as a ground color or as spotting.

Non-passerines typically have white eggs, except in some ground-nesting groups such as the Charadriiformes, sandgrouse and nightjars, where camouflage is necessary, and some parasitic cuckoos which have to match the passerine host's egg. Most passerines, in contrast, lay colored eggs, even if, like the tits they are hole-nesters, where there is no need of cryptic colors.

However, a recent study suggests that the protoporphyrin markings on passerine eggs actually act to reduce brittleness by acting as a solid state lubricant. If there is insufficient calcium available in the local soil, the egg shell may be thin, especially in a circle around the broad end. Protoporphyrin speckling compensates for this, and increases inversely to the amount of calcium in the soil.

For the same reason, later eggs in a clutch are more spotted than early ones as the female's store of calcium is depleted.

The color of individual eggs is also genetically influenced, and appears to be inherited through the mother only, suggesting that the gene responsible for pigmentation is on the sex determining W chromosome (female birds are WZ, males ZZ).

It used to be thought that color was applied to the shell immediately before laying, but this research shows that coloration is an integral part of the development of the shell, with the same protein responsible for depositing calcium carbonate, or protoporphyrins when there is a lack of that mineral.

In species such as the Common Guillemot, which nest in large groups, each female's eggs have very different markings, making it easier for females to identify their own eggs on the crowded cliff ledges on which they breed.

above: bluebird eggs vary in color
from white to medium-blue.

 

right: showing variation
in color among the eggs of the
guillemot.

Guillemot - egg color variation
 

recommended special equipment (if you are not around six feet tall or more):
a tall friend to come with you

(please return container to same place and make sure it is hidden well when you are done)

You can check your answers for this puzzle on Geochecker.com.

by ohmiky
Congrats to osubrownsfan for 500 days in a row of caching and 85 days in a row of puzzle caches with this one on 3/4/2012

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

For the puzzle: pbafcvphbhf bayl va vgf nofrapr
For the hunt: va gur zvqqyr bs gur snyyra fghss

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



 

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Current Time:
Last Updated: on 1/25/2017 3:18:07 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:18 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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