23 March 2022
Goose bones uncovered from a Stone Age village in eastern China indicate that geese may have been domesticated before chickens.
Researchers analyzed the size and chemical makeup of 232 goose bones and used carbon dating to determine they’re 7000 years old. A chemical analysis showed the birds drank nearby water, indicating they were all raised in the same location, and some bones came from baby geese that were too young to fly and must have hatched locally.— Science Magazine: Geese may have been the first domesticated birds
Chickens were domesticated 5,000 years ago so this finding upends the notion that they came first.
Who was domesticated before chickens?
Before agriculture began 10,000 years ago, humans were nomadic in their search for food. The first two animals to be domesticated — dogs and sheep — were easily nomadic as well.
Agriculture prompted humans to form permanent settlements, which led to a spurt of animal domestication to keep the meat supply nearby. Here’s the list from dogs to chickens.
|Who was domesticated first?|
|Dog||15,000+ years ago|
|Sheep||10,000 years ago|
|Pigeon||10,000 years ago to 5,000 years ago|
|Cat||9,500 years ago|
|Pig||8,000 years ago|
|Cattle||8,000 years ago|
|Goose||7,000 years ago|
|Horse||6,000 years ago|
|Chicken||5,000 years ago|
Quite a lot happened before chickens.
(photos from Wikimedia Commons; click on the images to see the originals)