It is the most widespread bird in the world and it is thanks to us. If we fairly distributed all the hens that live today on all the continents, we would collect at least four per human being, children included. Enough to have one chicken coop per family! It is even considered that these gallinaceae are a marker of the Anthropocene, almost in the same way as plastic: when future archaeologists dig into the geological layers corresponding to our time, they will find impressive quantities of chicken bones.
Estimates of their current population vary from simple to triple, but the count is not easy given all these chickens that pass through the slaughterhouse box and the equally impressive number of births of chicks. We tend to think that there would be 33 billion hens alive today at any given time, but some cite figures that go up to 65-70 billion hens raised each year – and not always in good conditions – to be eaten.
What still remained a mystery, or at least a subject of controversy, was the origin of our table chickens, the place and the time of their domestication. This is the importance of two studies today, which are published simultaneously in the scientific journal PNAS and in the reference journal for archeology, Antiquity.
Smart and strong: why crows took over the world
Here are some mill