Christianity influenced the evolution of chickens
Scientists from Oxford University found that the spread of Christianity in Europe greatly influenced the evolution of chickens.
The results are published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.
The modern chicken is a domesticated form bankovskoi jungle chicken. Chickens were domesticated about 6000-8000 years ago. Living with man, these animals changed in appearance, become more aggressive, faster laid eggs. However, it is not always possible to trace when and why these traits evolved. Now, scientists using DNA analysis of fossil bones of hens were able to shed light on important aspects of the evolution of chickens.
The researchers found that in the High middle Ages, the period of European history, covering approximately the XI—XIV centuries ESA, chickens have undergone drastic changes in connection with the spread of Christianity in Europe. The demand for these birds was caused by the Christian practice of fasting, which forbade the consumption of meat of four-legged animals, however, did not impose restrictions on meat birds and eggs. A thousand years ago, people throughout Europe and in almost all strata of society he was fasting.
Previous studies have shown that poultry is a mutation in the gene for the TSHR. Scientists believe that this mutation has allowed domestic chickens to lay eggs almost all year round and also led to lower aggression and fear of people.
Now researchers have found that this mutation appeared in chickens starting from the year 920, when just increased the consumption of chicken meat. However, this may be due to the introduction of more efficient methods of agriculture.