It's a question that has perplexed humanity from as early as the ancient Greeks. So which came first, the chicken or the egg? AsapSCIENCE takes a crack at this curious conundrum.
This question would be pretty simple if we took it literally. Egg-laying animals such as crocodiles and turtles existed way earlier than chickens as we know them, so technically the egg came before the chicken. But we all know that's not what we're talking about here.
The question of the chicken or the chicken egg is fundamentally about cause and consequence. If a chicken is born from an egg, where did the egg come from? Another chicken, obviously. But where did that chicken come from? An egg. So which came first?
The protein essential for the formation of chicken eggs is called OV-17, and it's only found in chicken ovaries. So without chickens, says AsapSCIENCE, there can't be chicken eggs. Team Chicken: 1, Team Egg: 0. But then, maybe a chicken egg doesn't have to be laid by a chicken to be defined as such. What if it was laid by something that wasn't a chicken, but still contained a chicken? So what if genetic mutations over thousands of generations led to something very similar to a chicken - let's say a proto-chicken - and it happened to create a chicken? Team Egg: 1, Team Chicken: 1.
Who wins? You're going to have to watch this fascinating episode of AsapSCIENCE above to find out.