The chicken and egg question will perhaps never be answered to the full satisfaction of all. But there is another aspect to the bird that is less prone to debate.

We get an idea of ancient cultures and people from the goods that they have left behind. And the Anthropocene age could well be defined by future humans as the Age of the Chicken.

According to an essay published last week in the journal Royal Society Open Science, our time on earth will be marked by leftover chicken bones. It’s easy to see why: 65 billion chickens are consumed every year.

The explosion in chicken farming and the rapid changes in the form of chickens due to selective breeding make them an ideal sign of our time. “We think they are a really important symbol and potential future fossil of this age, and man’s impact on the planet," said Carys Bennett at the University of Leicester, UK, and the lead author of the study. “They’re an example, really, of how we’ve changed the biosphere to suit our needs as humans."

And that’s one fowl fact.

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