What Came First, the Chicken or the egg?


Ellie Kim, Staff Writer

Since elementary school, the argument, what came first: the chicken or the egg?, was discussed. Ten year olds would argue that the chicken came first because it had to be able to lay the egg. Other elementary schoolers would combat those arguments saying that a chicken has to hatch from an egg. Countless hours would be wasted going back and forth in circles, with each side trying to prove their point. I’m here to tell all the chicken people that they are wrong and satisfy all of the egg people. 

The egg obviously came first due to some simple facts. According to fossils discovered from China, South America, and other counties, birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs around 165-150 million years ago. Their wings and lightweight bodies were pieced together gradually through time, until the first bird came to be. The first chicken was found about seven thousand ten thousand years ago, according to research from UW Madison. Although pheasants do not have the ability to fly, they are still a type of bird. Since birds came from theropod dinosaurs, scientists believe that that dinosaur laid an egg, which then hatched something close to a bird-like creature. Those bird-like creatures would have evolved into two birds (that were not quite chickens), mated, and laid an ovum that hatched into the first chicken. 

Also, stated in an article written by Merrill Fabry in Time Magazine, “Eggs, generally speaking, existed before chickens did. The oldest fossils of dinosaur eggs and embryos are about 190 million years old.” Through thorough research, evolutionary scientists have found that ova have been around for nearly 190 million years, while chicks have only been around for a measly ten thousand years. 190 million to ten thousand is not even close, with eggs blowing the chickens out of the park.

When producing offspring, chickens lay their eggs inside of another egg, which is known as counter-peristalsis contraction. This occurs when a formed zygote travels backwards and becomes embedded inside of the second zygote. The second egg forms first, which is why it is larger than the original ovum. If a chicken wasn’t hatched from a roe, it wouldn’t have the time and resources to undergo proper growth processes needed for the pheasant to survive. Also, since the bird species are light-weight and usually have to travel in the air, they have to be able to stay the same weight. By laying eggs instead of carrying the offspring inside of its body, the chicken makes sure that when it reproduces it can still move around without the extra weight and move quickly to evade predators. 

Due to the scientific facts and research, it’s safe to say that eggs were around way before the first chicken even existed. If there was no egg, there is no possibility that there would be a chicken. The real question, after all of that, is not what came first, it is what will come last.