Monday, March 03, 2008

Where do Chickens Come From?

Southeast Asia apparently. Genetically speaking? Turns out our feathered friends descend from one bad-ass mother of a bird, the jungle fowl. Head over to Greg Laden's blablablog for discussion of new genetic evidence showing that the modern day chicken is actually a hybrid of at least two different wild species of the jungle fowl, one with grey skin and one with yellow skin. Some commenter also points out on his website that these birds may have been initially domesticated for cock-fighting rather than food. Check it out if you want to read more about cock-fighting.

Continuing along with his fetish of birds/southeast Asia/hybridization, Laden also discusses a new paper on the evolution of the flu virus. The authors present evidence showing that some particularly nasty flu epidemics of the 20th century arose as a result of segmental reassortment between the genomes of different strains. This reminds me that it's been a while since we've had a good old-fashioned bird flu scare. Good to know people are still studying this.

For some reason I'm now imagining being pecked apart by a Jungle Fowl carrying a lethal strain of H1N1. Ouch. Bad way to go...


Levitra Verdanafil said...

too good to see this Thanks for such A nice post