Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jack S. Wood

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Brewer

Third Advisor

Dr. Jean Lawrence

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Imy Holt

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



The purpose of this study was to determine normal levels of several blood chemical constituents (the mineral sodium, potassium and calcium and the organic substances serum cholesterol and serum albumin) for the female mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) and to examine their relationships as a possible index to reproductive development.

Much research has been done on the chemical composition of the avian egg and only those constituents which are of concern in this study will be discussed in detail. According to Romanoff (1949), studies of the chicken egg have shown that only a few mineral elements are present in relative abundance in the egg. In addition to the three mentioned above phosphorus, chlorine, magnesium, iron, and sulfur are also present in amounts of considerable quantity. The largest amounts of certain minerals, especially calcium, are found in the eggshell which is 95 per cent inorganic matter. In comparison, mineral elements constitute only 1 per cent of the egg contents (albumen and yolk) but the greatest variety of minerals in present in the egg contents. Calcium constitutes 98.2 per cent of the total mineral elements of the eggshell and six per cent of the total inorganic matter in the egg contents. Neither sodium nor potassium is present in the chicken eggshell but both are present in the egg contents. Sodium constitutes 14.5 per cent of the total mineral elements in the egg contents and potassium 16.8 per cent. Each constitutes .16 per cent of the albumen of the chicken egg but in the yolk potassium is present in slightly greater amounts (.11 per cent) than sodium (.07 per cent).

Included in

Biology Commons