A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

January 1, 1984

Dear Cecil:

Just one question. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Cecil replies:

There are two answers to this question, P., one serious, one retarded. Let's start with the former.

(1) The egg came first. We know that chickens evolved from some earlier, non-chickenoid form of life, e.g., the half-bird, half-reptile Archaeopteryx. These non-chickens, however, arrived in eggs. Ergo, eggs were on the scene before chickens.

(2) The chicken came first because (sigh) the chicken had to get laid before the egg could. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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