Hen Gives Birth to Live 'Eggless' Chick in Sri Lanka

04/24/2012

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It's a bizarre story that is sure to reinvigorate the age old philosophical question of 'What came first: the chicken or the egg?': a chick in Sri Lanka has been born live, without an egg.

The oddball event, which has been confirmed by certified veterinary officers in the area, is actually more of a biological mystery than a philosophical one. Quite simply, birds are supposed to lay eggs. In fact, no bird species has ever been discovered which gives birth to live young. Could this Sri Lankan hen therefore be the first bird ever to do so?

Though the chick was born alive and well, the mother hen unfortunately perished shortly after giving birth. This gave the chief veterinary officer in the area, PR Yapa, a chance to perform an autopsy, according to the BBC. He discovered that the chick did actually develop inside a fertilized egg, but that the egg was never expelled. After being incubated in its mother's body for 21 days, the chick then hatched inside the hen.

Yapa determined that the mother hen died due to internal injuries caused by the birth event. But by all accounts, the chick appears to be in good health.

As to why the egg remained in the hen's body until it was hatched, that remains a mystery. Government officials said they've never seen anything like it before.

Apparently, the Daily Mirror, a Sri Lankan publication, caused quite a controversy after reporting on the event, declaring boldly in a headline: "The chicken came first; not the egg."

Of course, in this case it would appear that the egg still came first, at least for this chick.

Image: Wiki Commons


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