Was it the chicken or the egg that came first? It’s an age-old enigma that sparks a conversation every single time… conversations that lead to no conclusive answer. You need an egg to hatch into a chicken but then at the same time you need a chicken to lay the egg in the very first place.
If the egg came first then where did it come from if there was no chicken to lay the egg? And if the chicken came first then how was it born if not out of an egg? These are mind-boggling questions that inevitably leave us with a virtuous circle without any clear starting point.
Is it possible to answer this Chicken or the egg riddle?
Yes, thanks to science we have an answer now and it lies in the famous Darwin’s theory of evolution. Let’s crack this one… shall we?
The very first eggs
Eggs can be found anywhere, throughout the aminal kingdom. If we break it down, technically an egg is just simply a membrane-bound vessel in which an embryo grows and develops until that little thing can survive on its own.
Let’s focus on the bird eggs that we recognize today. Before their arrival, many of the animals mainly relied on water for reproduction, they would lay their eggs in ponds and other wet environments just so that the eggs don’t dry out.
At a point, a different kind of egg has started to evolve, which had 3 extra membranes. Each had a different function, but these layers provided an all-in-one life support. We aren’t really sure about how or when did this happen, mainly because eggy membranes don’t make good fossils, hence scientists have no clear record of when, or how, amniotic eggs developed. Today’s mammals, reptiles, and birds are all descendants of the first amniotes.
Moving further with the chicken or the egg enigma
The very first chicken
This is about to get very scientific. So the very first chicken was a result of a genetic mutation that took place in a zygote which was produced by almost-chickens. Meaning two almost-chickens (proto-chickens) mated, combining their DNA to form the very first cell of the very first chicken. Somewhere along the line, genetic mutations occurred in that very first cell, the mutations copied. The Result? A Chicken, the very first in fact.
Back to our original question: with amniotic eggs showing up roughly 340 million or so years ago, and the first chickens evolving at around 58 thousand years ago at the earliest, it’s a safe bet to say the egg came first.
So, can we put this old riddle to rest?
At the end of the day, Eggs certainly came before chickens, but chicken eggs did not — which means you cannot have one without the other. However, if we had to pick a side, we would say egg, based on the evolution of course.
Egg it is!
Did you know the answer and the right logic behind it? If you think otherwise then let us know your logic in the comments section below.