Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Science -

Eggs are much older than chick­ens. Di­nosaurs laid eggs, the fish that first crawled out of the sea laid eggs, and the weird ar­tic­u­lated mon­sters that swam in the warm shal­low seas of the Cam­brian Pe­riod 500 mil­lion years ago also laid eggs. They weren’t chicken’s eggs, but they were still eggs. So the egg def­i­nitely came first. Un­less you re­state the ques­tion as ‘which came first, the chicken or the chicken’s egg?’ Then it very much de­pends on how you de­fine a chicken’s egg. Is it an egg laid by a chicken? Or is it an egg that a chicken hatches from? Chick­ens are the same species as the red jun­gle fowl of South­east Asia, although they were prob­a­bly hy­bridised with the grey jun­gle fowl when they were do­mes­ti­cated 10,000 years ago. But it doesn’t mat­ter; at some point in evo­lu­tion­ary his­tory when there were no chick­ens, two birds that were al­most-but-not-quite chick­ens mated and laid an egg that hatched into the first chicken. If you are pre­pared to call that egg a chicken’s egg, then the egg came first. Other­wise, the chicken came first and the first chicken’s egg had to wait un­til the first chicken laid it. LV

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