1. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That’s easy: eggs. Microfossil embryos in primitive eggs from southern China are about 600 million years old.
2. The chicken, however, now the world’s most common domestic animal, dates back a mere 4,000 or so years. Most researchers believe that Gallus gallus, the red jungle fowl, was first domesticated in East or Southeast Asia.
3. In 2014, a study ruffled feathers with claims that bones from northern China showed the wild G. gallus had been chickenized into G. gallus domesticus about 10,000 years ago.
4. But critics suggested the 2014 paper really laid an egg: The bones purported to be from chickens were, they claimed, from pheasants and possibly even dogs.
5. The word domestication is itself contentious. Some definitions focus on genetic changes due to selective breeding; others describe it as humans removing an animal from its natural environment to control its entire life cycle.
6. A 2015 study offered a broader definition: a mutually beneficial relationship, over generations, between one organism influencing reproduction and care of another.
7. The study didn’t specify humans as the domesticator because these relationships can exist beyond our sphere, such as numerous species of ants that farm fungus or herd aphids.
8. Although researchers traditionally used archaeological evidence to determine when our species domesticated another, DNA can also show when a population went from wild to mild.
9. By comparing ancient and modern DNA from a domesticated animal as well as its nearest wild relatives, researchers can identify when specific genetic mutations associated with domestication arose.
10. Some of the earliest and most common genetic markers for domestication involve changes in the endocrine system that make an animal less fearful of humans.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — A list of companies owned by Amazon. It’s big.
Wearables — Raid the kitchen
Electronics — Capacitor ESR
Biohacking — Vitamin-C + Gelatin for Accelerated Recovery
Python for Microcontrollers — Python snakes its way to the STM32, Serpente, and more!
Adafruit IoT Monthly — Adafruit IO Updates, RGB Stream Deck Message Panel, and more
Microsoft MakeCode — Welcome to the MakeCode Newsletter!
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.