Abandoned seabird eggs as a calcium source for terrestrial gastropods

Alexander L. Bond, Antony W. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Birds' use of terrestrial gastropods to supplement calcium for egg formation has been well documented, but the reverse, gastropods using avian eggshells as a calcium source, has not been recorded previously. We collected Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea, eggs, abandoned in July 2006, that were found to have many terrestrial gastropods on the surface, and it appeared as though the outer eggshell layers were removed. Using scanning electron microscopy, we compared "grazed" and "ungrazed" sections of the same shell with eggshells collected in 2005 that were not attended by snails. It appears as though the snails removed the outer eggshell layers, presumably to supplement their own shell growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-435
Number of pages3
JournalCanadian Field-Naturalist
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Arctic Tern
  • Calcium
  • Cepaea hortensis
  • Cionella lumbria
  • Eggshell
  • Glossy Pillar
  • New Brunswick
  • Sterna paradisaea
  • White-lip gardensnail


Dive into the research topics of 'Abandoned seabird eggs as a calcium source for terrestrial gastropods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this