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Breaking: chicken came before the (chicken) egg

Vlad Savov

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Don't ask us why British researchers are spending their time trying to solve the age-old "who came first" conundrum, but apparently solve it they have done. Lab dwellers from the universities of Sheffield and Warwick share the distinction of identifying the particular effects of a particular protein -- ovocleidin-17, found only in chickens' ovaries -- on the development of the egg's shell. It would seem that without OC-17 converting calcium carbonate into calcite crystals, one couldn't have an eggshell, meaning that the chicken and its special protein powers had to have developed first. How the world's going to react to having one of its favorite clichés wrestled away has yet to be determined.

Update: Seems like we didn't make it clear enough that these findings relate specifically to chicken eggs. We're well aware that dragons dinosaurs have plenty of prior art on chickens when it comes to laying shelled embryo chambers.

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