The Embryological Development of the California Quail

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ag Science and Natural Resources

Date of Award

Summer 2021


Avian embryology and development has been a topic of study for >2,000 years. Detailed accounts of embryonic development exist for many galliform species, but the literature is lacking a thorough embryological development study for California valley quail (Callipepla californica). The objective of this study was to stage and document the morphological and structural development of California valley quail. Over two laying seasons, four groups of California quail eggs were incubated at 37.8֯C in 60% RH for ≤23 days, or until hatch. Eggs were opened daily to document embryonic development. As the embryo developed, morphological characteristics were measured. Measurements recorded include blastoderm diameter, anterior angle of the nostril to the tip of the beak, and lengths of wing, tarsus, third toe, total beak, total foot, and embryo. California valley quail embryos were staged and compared to the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), the staging standard for galliformes, as well as the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), blue-breasted quail (Coturnix chinesis) and northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Results from this research produced the first description of the normal stages of development for California valley quail. This study will serve as a standard developmental timetable for future embryological research.


Kelly Reyna

Subject Categories

Agriculture | Animal Sciences | Life Sciences