How Did the Chicken Cross the Sea?
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Photo: Tim Gallagher
Author: Irby Lovette

We can all predict what would happen if a chicken attempted to fly across the Pacific Ocean: it would not get far before becoming shark bait. How, then, did domestic chickens, which are native to Southeast Asia, find their way to South America?

The remains of a 600-year-old chicken dinner excavated from an ancient rubbish dump have solved the mystery of whether chickens were originally transported to South America by the first Spanish explorers or by trans-Pacific human voyagers long before the arrival of the earliest Europeans in the New World.

The Spanish explorer hypothesis has long been popular, but historians have long known of a perplexing wrinkle to that idea:

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