Which came first or

Hen or egg - which came first?

This is an old and seemingly tricky question. In the past, God also came into play: Did he first create an egg from which a chicken hatches? Or first a chicken that lays an egg?

Today we know that life on earth evolved gradually, and chickens are a result of evolution. Chickens are birds, the birds in turn evolved from the dinosaurs, those from the reptiles, those from the amphibians and those in turn from the fish.

There were eggs before chickens

In this respect I could make the answer easy for myself and say: There were eggs much earlier in evolution than there were chickens. After all, the dinosaurs have already laid eggs and before them the first amphibians, even fish lay eggs - even if they don't have a solid shell. The answer is simple: eggs existed long before chickens existed, only they weren't chicken eggs.

But our question is about whining. So which came first: chicken or hen's egg?

Here, too, the answer is: the egg. That becomes clearer if I rephrase the question: who laid the egg from which the first chicken hatched?

And then we're back to the chicken!

Not exactly! When we talk about “chickens”, that's just a name humans have given to a certain group of birds that look this way and that and are different from other birds.

Chicken-like ancestors: when is a chicken a chicken?

In reality they developed slowly, there was never a clear first “chicken” in this sense, but that is an arbitrary term. There were ancestors who already resembled chickens, but still looked a little different. But these original chickens had children, these children had children again and at some point, in ancient times, a mother bird with a father bird produced a chick that was so similar to today's chickens that we or a bird expert might have said: Ah, this is now the first real chicken!

The mother of the first chicken was not a chicken yet

Now this first chicken has naturally hatched from an egg that its mother laid, who just wasn't a chicken. Now the big question is: Was that a chicken egg or not? A clear answer: It was a hen's egg, because this egg was created when the male bird fertilized the female bird's egg. The chick-to-be matures in the egg, and this chick already has a chicken inheritance. This egg belongs to the early stages of the nascent chicken, if you will, so it's a hen's egg. And that first chicken egg existed before the first chicken existed.

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