Topic ID #32358 - posted 4/19/2014 4:55 AM

Ancient DNA offers clues to how barnyard chickens came to be



Jennifer Palmer

Webmaster
PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:18-Apr-2014
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

Ancient DNA offers clues to how barnyard chickens came to be
Chickens living just a few hundred years ago may have looked far different from the chickens of today

Durham, NC — Ancient DNA adds a twist to the story of how barnyard chickens came to be, finds a study to be published April 21 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Analyzing DNA from the bones of chickens that lived 200-2300 years ago in Europe, researchers report that just a few hundred years ago domestic chickens may have looked far different from the chickens we know today.

The results suggest that some of the traits we associate with modern domestic chickens -- such as their yellowish skin -- only became widespread in the last 500 years, much more recently than previously thought.


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