Your Chickens - - Before the Backyard -

Ini­tial ge­netic stud­ies seem to sug­gest that mod­ern chick­ens de­scended from those first do­mes­ti­cated in dif­fer­ent parts of Asia be­fore then spread­ing to Europe and Africa where­upon they made the hop across the ocean to the Amer­i­cas. How­ever, some chicken bones ex­ca­vated from the coast of Chile un­der­went a DNA anal­y­sis that sug­gests they are older than the ar­rival of the first Euro­peans. Fur­ther­more, the bones were found to be more closely re­lated to the Poly­ne­sian chicken strains than those bred in Europe. What does this mean? Well, if it is, in fact, sci­en­tif­i­cally ac­cu­rate then it would mean that ex­plor­ers from Poly­ne­sian reached the shores of the Amer­i­cas a cen­tury be­fore Colum­bus. That is a piece of knowl­edge that would have knocked the wind out his sails had he known.

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