Instant Guide

The 'miracle chick' born without an egg

A happy baby bird emerges directly out of its mother — without incubating in an egg outside her body. Can we finally put an age-old riddle to rest?

Which came first: The chicken or the egg? It's a simple question with grand implications about philosphy, the origins of life, and the creation of our universe. Perhaps that's why humans have pondered the riddle for centuries. But do we finally have an answer? Maybe, now that a mother hen in Sri Lanka has given birth to a baby chick — without an egg. Here, a brief guide to this intriguing tale:

How was a chick born without an egg?"Normally, eggs are passed out of a hen's body and incubated" in the outside world, says the U.K.'s Metro. But in this case, in a medical mystery that local vets have yet to solve, the egg was incubated inside the mother hen for 21 days, and the chick hatched while still inside its mother. The "cute, fluffy miracle chick did have a shell," says MSN, but it was technically inside its mother, so there was no egg, per se. Sounds like the mama hen was trying to "bite humans' style," says Caity Weaver at Gawker.

How are the hen and chick doing?Sadly, the mother hen died from internal wounds. "There were lacerations and a tear of the reproductive tract that caused the death," veterinarian P.R. Yapa tells AFP. At least the baby is doing well, says the BBC. "The chick is fully formed and healthy." 

Has this happened before?"I had only heard about such aberrations," Yapa tells AFP, "but I was able to see it for myself" in this case.

But does this solve the chicken-egg mystery in any satisfying way?Hardly. After all, there was sort of an egg in this case — it just never made its way outside the mother's body. And yet others are willfully ignoring that technicality, and taking this incident as definitive proof. Clearly, "the chicken came first," concludes Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror, "not the egg."

Sources: BBC, GawkerMetro, MSN

Recommended

Official: ISIS in Afghanistan could be able to attack U.S. in 6 months
Aerial view of the Pentagon.
national security

Official: ISIS in Afghanistan could be able to attack U.S. in 6 months

What America can learn from Germany's pandemic response
German testing site.
'simple precautions'

What America can learn from Germany's pandemic response

10 things you need to know today: October 26, 2021
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 26, 2021

Princess Mako leaves Japan's royal family to marry college boyfriend
Kei Komuro and Princess Mako.
listen to your heart

Princess Mako leaves Japan's royal family to marry college boyfriend

Most Popular

The other parenting problem
A baby.
Stephanie H. Murray

The other parenting problem

5 toons about Bannon's contempt of Congress charge
Political Cartoon.
Feature

5 toons about Bannon's contempt of Congress charge

The 'Trump app' will be the insurrection on steroids
Donald Trump.
Picture of Damon LinkerDamon Linker

The 'Trump app' will be the insurrection on steroids