The domestic chicken is set to play an epoch-defining role for humanity, as its bones could become the key fossil evidence for the dawn of the age in which humankind came to dominate the planet.
An expert group has announced that a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, should be declared. But the key to defining a geological age is finding global physical evidence of the transition that will be preserved for future geologists, and the modern chicken eaten worldwide is a prime candidate.
One researcher said: “It has become the world’s most common bird. It has been fossilised in thousands of landfill sites and on street corners around the world.”