Saturday, November 28, 2009

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? USDA web site answers.

I happened upon this gem this morning when checking on the USDA's food safety web site ("Ask Karen") on a poultry question. Personally, I was pleased that the folks behind this web site a) had the sense of humor to include the question and b) relied on a scientific answer, and a citation for further information.

  Which came first, the chicken or the egg? spacer   Answer   Eggs existed long before chickens, according to On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. These all-in-one reproductive cells, incorporating the nutrients to support life, evolved about a billion years ago. The first eggs were hatched in the ocean. As animal life emerged from the water about 250 million years ago, they began producing an egg with a tough leathery skin to prevent dehydration of its contents on dry land. The chicken evolved only about 5,000 years ago from an Asian bird.

Posted via web from Doug's posterous

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