"Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"
After asking, telling, and debating hundreds of riddles, people always return to the original and most frequently asked riddle- "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Can you tell me the answer? That old riddle has sparked many debates throughout the ages. It's such a confusing yet interesting question since you need a chicken to lay an egg, but chickens are produced from eggs.
Fortunately, there's no need to dwell on this forever. The answer to the riddle can come to an end using scientific tools, specifically the ideas of evolutionary biology.
Let’s get the riddle cracking!
The Greek philosopher Plutarch addressed the query for the first time 2000 years ago. Eggs are typically thought of as the shelled orbs laid by birds out of which their chicks emerge unless we consume them first. At least 1 billion years have passed since the sex of the egg, and possibly as much as 2 billion. Even the special form of eggs that birds lay, with their strong outer covering, underwent evolution more than 300 million years ago.
Chickens were created much later, though. Since they are domesticated creatures, their evolution can be attributed to people intentionally breeding only the mildest of wild birds.
Starting around 10,000 years ago, this appears to have occurred independently in several locations.
According to most experts, the red junglefowl, a tropical bird that is still found in Southeast Asian woods, is the wild ancestor of chickens, with other junglefowl species probably contributing to the genetic mix. Over the past two millennia or more, people have transported chickens from these beginnings all over the world.
With amniotic eggs first appearing around 340 million years ago and the first chickens appearing around 58 thousand years ago, it's a safe bet that the egg came first.
As a result, eggs predate chickens for a long time.
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