Chicken or the Egg?

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One of the most frequently asked questions in history is: What came first, the chicken or the egg? Did an egg just pop up one day?? Or did two animals mate and create a chicken? Let's find out!

According to Science and Tech, researchers feel as though they've recently found the answer: the chicken came first. Assuming that the chicken was first created through DNA mutations when other animals mated, the egg then formed because of a certain protein found in the chicken's ovaries, the DNA is called Ovocledidin-17 or OC-17. The protein serves as a catalyst that helps to speed up the development of the egg shell. That seems easy enough right? But it's not that easy because it brings up more of a debate that leads people to believe that the egg came first. 

British Scientists would also agree with this. After the discovery of OC-17, these British scientists zoomed in on the process of egg formation. From doing so, they discovered that the protein is VITAL in starting up the process of the shell hardening. Dr. Colin Freeman explained that it was always suspected that the egg came first, but because of the proof of science him and his colleagues discovered...he believes the chicken came first. Scientists as a whole had been aware of that protein and always knew it was part of the process of actually forming the egg, but until his experiment, nobody knew how much the protein controlled the process. So because of this protein OC-17 and it's properties the scientists believe the chicken came first. After all, the protein can only be found in chicken's ovaries. 


Another article on Popular Science states that it was indeed the egg that came first. The line of reason there explains that since at some point in history there was a chicken-like bird which gave birth to an offspring, which took that chicken-likeliness and actually made one, a chicken. The researchers agree with the "Science and Tech and Fox News" article that the chicken developed due to a genetic mutation in the DNA. However, the researchers of "Popular Science" take it much farther and get a lot more in-depth. They explain that the "proto-chicken or bid-like chicken" eventually had a "real-life chicken." And since that real-life chicken came from its own egg...they believe the egg came first. To me this a little confusing and stretched, but Daniel Engber, the author, takes it further. He tells us to consider evolutionary history, see which came first. Again, the egg. He states this is true since the "modern avian egg," which is an oval with a hard shell, were existent before birds came from dinosaurs millions and millions of years ago. According to Darla Zelenitsky, from University of Calgary, "a lot of the traits that we see in bird eggs evolved prior to birds in theropod dinosaurs."

I honestly feel like this is still an either or question. There's been so many experiments done that have "cracked the riddle." However, there are still so many conflicting and lingering debates. I would personally say that the chicken came first, but it depends how you want to view it. I feel as though the chicken came first because of the DNA mutations. If you think about it, that's pretty much how us humans happened: evolution. The whole idea of the "actual chicken" coming from it's own egg confuses me and seems very stretched. However, maybe my thinking is just too simple. This is probably going to be an issue that will never be solved, it happened SO long ago anyways. There's tons of "proof" and "evidence" explaining each side, nobody can come to an agreement. What do you think? Did the chicken or the egg come first?


1 Comment

This was very well-researched and written. Well done. You could've split this up into two parts easily!

I think the answer is that evolution caused it, and that's it. What I'm getting from these articles is that DNA mutations in both a living organism and its offspring eventually led to the chicken and the eggs we know of today, but all of that couldn't have happened overnight. We know today that evolution is a process that takes hundreds of years, and that there were many different types of chicken and eggs before we got what we have today.

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