• Question: What came first the chicken or the egg?

    Asked by katiesullivan328 on 25 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Alex Blenkinsop

      Alex Blenkinsop answered on 25 Jun 2019:

      Technically the process of evolution means there was no first chicken or first egg, as it’s hard to draw the line at when the animal which preceded it evolved into a chicken. But for the sake of resolving the question, my logic would be….
      a chicken had to be born from an egg and eggs have also been around for millions of years before chickens evolved (since birds evolved from dinosaurs), so I would argue the egg wins!🐣🥇

    • Photo: Matthew Burgess

      Matthew Burgess answered on 26 Jun 2019:

      Other egg laying organisms such as reptiles existed long before any bird so technically the egg wins.
      And semantic technical victories are the best kind 😁

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 26 Jun 2019:

      The Classic Conundrum! or at least, supposedly.

      1. eggs them selves have been around for millions of years before chickens.
      2. Chickens would have evolved from another animal, meaning they are slightly different genetically. these changes would then cause the embryo (inside the egg) to develop into a chicken. This then resulted in the first Chicken, but this would have hatched from an egg laid by a slightly different bird in terms of genetics. Therefore the egg must have come first?

      3. In the case of the first chickens egg however, definitely the chicken.


    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 26 Jun 2019:

      As others have said, technically there was not a sudden arrival of a chicken (as we know it) or an egg (as we know it, in terms of having a chicken in it). Evolution acts over millions of years. Chickens evolved from other creatures like reptiles, which laid eggs. Over time, many many genetic mutations and many many generations of evolution formed what we know as a chicken from the egg. So, technically ‘an egg’ came first, which hatched into a chicken but this came from a non-chicken creature and then the first ‘chicken egg’ came from that first chicken. You could argue either, depending on what you’re defining as an egg and a chicken!

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 27 Jun 2019: last edited 26 Jun 2019 11:55 pm

      Assuming we are talking about the first ever fertile domestic chicken (Gallus gallus) and the specific egg it hatched from; the egg wins hands down for all the reasons Matthew gave. As an aside, the domestic chicken apparently diverged from the red junglefowl about 58,000 years ago:
      I still don’t think it would have woken me up in the morning though! Have a listen to the audios here:

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      Great question! I have no idea, but think I would go for the egg, if forced to chose!

    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      Haha I am reading the other answers with much interest. I would probably have to say egg too based on the argument by Alex!

    • Photo: Deepak Chandrasekharan

      Deepak Chandrasekharan answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      The egg – laid by a creature that was not a chicken! (adapted from Neil deGrasse Tyson)