Thursday, March 27, 2008
The Descent of Chicken
Searching through recent chicken science news, I learn that, according to the associate keeper of palaeontology at the Natural History Museum in London, Angela Milner - here commenting on the just completed genome sequencing of Tyranasorus Rex:
"The analysis shows that T-rex collagen makeup is almost identical to that of a modern chicken. This corroborates a huge body of evidence from the fossil record that demonstrates birds are descended from meat-eating dinosaurs,"
Now when you remove the feathers, it's easy to see just how much a chicken (like this one engineered for the meat trade in Israel) is like a T. Rex . Dogs will eat corn and there is plenty of it in their food, but Chickens are not meat eaters simply by virtue of the stray bugs on their greens. They are deliberate hunters and proud of it. If you look at most rooster beaks, you will see that they are more hooked like that of a hawk than straight like a finch beak.
Our chickens will run down and kill and kill and kill a mouse for about ten minutes, then run back and forth through the flock with it before tearing out and eating the entrails or leaving the corpse as a public monument in the middle of the path.
And anyone with chickens on the loose learns that roosters will tyranize and terrorize you if you allow it. Maybe they will even peck out your eyes and your entrails too, as some Jihadists have recently threatened to arrange for their own roosters to do to infidels without borders .
Anthropologists have observed that chickens were first domesticated, not for their eggs or meat, but because of their fighting ability.
That says a lot about both our species, but this superior fighting ability has got to be partly due to roosters having a testosterone level which, according to various sources, is from fourteen to seventeen times that of your average human male. Damn!
In the zoological branch of traditional Chinese pharmacology, eating Rooster balls, especially the black-meated variety, is a boost to human male potency. But, judging by roosters, roostosterone might also diminish your ability to separate love from war.
According to an online guide to Tagalog style cock fighting culture, extensive culling of the cockerls is necessary in order to eliminate "Crossed-up chickens and those that are too brainy, stylishly evasive or defensive."
These brainy, stylishly evasive and defensive characteristics have survived because they are useful for political functioning and for the survival of the species. Whereas the aggressively bred fighting cock might be better fit for the entertainment of the bloody minded, or for use by the growing torture industry, but are tragically flawed - not fit to survive in nature.
Tyranasourus Rex didn't survive as such did he....except by getting small, defensive, and brainy.
Developing feathers and wings had to help too,