Error message

  • User warning: The following module is missing from the file system: oauth_common. For information about how to fix this, see the documentation page. in _drupal_trigger_error_with_delayed_logging() (line 1181 of /home/drupal7/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • User warning: The following module is missing from the file system: twitter. For information about how to fix this, see the documentation page. in _drupal_trigger_error_with_delayed_logging() (line 1181 of /home/drupal7/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • Deprecated function: dirname(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($path) of type string is deprecated in drupal_get_path() (line 2970 of /home/drupal7/public_html/includes/common.inc).
  • Deprecated function: dirname(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($path) of type string is deprecated in drupal_get_path() (line 2970 of /home/drupal7/public_html/includes/common.inc).
  • Warning: include_once(/home/drupal7/public_html/sites/all/modules/twitter/twitter_views_field_handlers.inc): Failed to open stream: No such file or directory in include_once() (line 3557 of /home/drupal7/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • Warning: include_once(): Failed opening '/home/drupal7/public_html/sites/all/modules/twitter/twitter_views_field_handlers.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/cpanel/ea-php81/root/usr/share/pear') in include_once() (line 3557 of /home/drupal7/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).

Old Yeller (Legs)

This is a grey junglefowl, which is on display at the Oxford University Natural History Museum. There are three other closely related species of junglefowl including the red, the green, and the Ceylon. Domestic chickens are almost exclusively descended from the red junglefowl, but not entirely. They can’t be: chicken legs are just too yellow!

Think about popular images of chickens. Foghorn Leghorn. Chicken Little. All other fast food depictions and cartoon chickens. They always have yellow legs. But the red junglefowl has grey legs. So how is it that domestic chickens more often than not have yellow legs?

Take a look at the grey junglefowl’s legs. OK, it’s an old taxidermy specimen, it’s seen better days but the legs - do they look a little bit yellow? A recent genetic study has shown that modern chickens possess a special yellow-leg gene that came from the species you are looking at, the grey junglefowl. How did this happen?

Chickens were domesticated in East Asia, where the red junglefowl lives. When they migrated with people though South Asia, they likely encountered populations of Gallus sonnerati, and some of the offspring between domestic and wild birds possessed some grey junglefowl traits.

Just like many of us have a little bit of Neanderthal in our genes, domestic chickens have just enough grey junglefowl in them to produce those iconic yellow legs.

Follow us

Keep up to date with the latest project news via our Twitter feed.

  • 4 years 1 month ago
  • 4 years 10 months ago
  • 4 years 12 months ago
  • 5 years 2 weeks ago

Contact Us

Room B13 Humanities Building
University Park
Nottingham
NG7 2RD
UK
info [at] scicultchickens.org or click here

X