Modern Broiler Chickens a Defining Feature of Geological Epoch

International researchers say that the breeding and consumption of the modern broiler chicken is a defining feature of the Anthropocene, the era of human impact on geological processes. They note that broiler chickens are the most numerous terrestrial vertebrate species on the planet, with a biology shaped by humans to be radically different from their ancestors. “The body shape, bone chemistry and genetics of the modern meat chicken is unrecognizable from wild ancestors and anything we see in the archaeological record,” notes a study co-author. Researchers also note that imported chicken feed from a globalized food supply linked with industrial agriculture helps define these chickens across the globe, and that the sheer number of discarded bones will make them a marker species in the geological record.