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Which Came First, The Chicken Or The Egg?

Which Came First, The Chicken Or The Egg?

Often used a causality dilemma in philosophy and theology, it seems that at least in the context of science, there may be an answer to this ancient question. So which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Jurassic Park Has The Answer

The answer to the original riddle – in the context of philosophy, theology and logic – remains unknown. However, researchers believe they may have the answer in the field of science according to Darla Zelenitsky. Zelenitsky is a paleontologist at the University of Calgary in Alberta.

dinosaur chickenA rare and well preserved fossilized dinosaur nest was used to answer the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, Zelenitsky says.

The tiny carnivorous dinosaur sat over the nest of eggs 77 million years ago, along a river beach. Mom seems to have fled as water levels rose, leaving the unhatched offspring behind, which eventually was covered by mud and then fossilized.

Researchers have studied the fossil nest and at least five partially intact eggs. The nest is a mound of sand that is 1.6 feet across and weighs around 110 pounds.

Dinosaurs and Birds

“Many characteristics and features of the fossilized nest are shared with birds, and an analysis of the results can tell us how far back in time these features, such as nest building, brooding and eggs, evolved — a partial answers to the ancient question of which came first, the chicken or the egg,” said researcher Francois Therrien, curator of dinosaur paleoecology at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta.

The Question Is Finally Answered

dinosaur or egg

Interpreted in the strictest sense, the answer to the age-old riddle is clear. Dinosaurs were forming bird-like nests and laying bird-like eggs long before birds (chickens included) evolved from dinosaurs.

“The egg came before the chicken,” Zelenitsky said. “Chickens evolved long after the small, carnivorous dinosaurs that laid these eggs.”

A New Riddle?

Unfortunately, the answer now leads one to ponder, which came first, the dinosaur or the egg?

Fun Egg Facts:

  • Egg shells are made of calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is the main ingredient in many antacids, like Tums and Rolaids.
  • The blood occasionally seen in an egg is caused by the rupture of tiny blood vessels in the yolk. It does not indicate that an egg is unsafe to eat according to the Egg Safety Center.
  • The colors within an egg vary with its age and other environmental factors. Cloudy egg whites indicate that an egg is very fresh, according to the Egg Safety Center. Aging or older eggs have clear egg whites while iridescent or pink egg whites are signs of spoilage, and should not be consumed.
  • China is the world’s biggest supplier of eggs, producing about 390 billion each year. Roughly half of the world’s supply.

References:
CNN (May 26, 2006). “Chicken and egg debate unscrambled
Chickens, eggs, this is no way to report on science. – Pharyngula.

Comments

  1. nikita sen

    Well that’s pretty interesting! Kudos to Zelenitsky if his statement is literal & practical. But who’s gonna answer the next raised question? Who came first – dinosaur or egg?

    • Scientific Facts

      I think it might be better to ask, which came first, the fish or the egg. Dinosaurs and lizards evolved from amphibians and those evolved from fish. You can keep on going to single celled creatures and on down. I think for all practical purposes, the question is answered. At least, I believe it is. Any more further questions is just dabbling in philosophy.

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