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OK Skunks: When was the last time you saw a chicken soaring high above your head?

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posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 01:57 PM
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Yeah, I haven't either... Well, one, when I was eight. But she was plummeting to her death from my Nana's rooftop. Anyway, how exactly does a flightless bird evolve? Under what circumstances would it be advantageous to NOT be able to fly? They have feathers. They have wings. They lay eggs. They have everything birds that fly do except one thing... they can't fly (well, at least not very far). My reason suggests that they could fly at some point in the past? How did it become advantageous to loose that ability? Not just chickens, but all flightless birds. Maybe I'm missing something, but flight sure seems like a pretty handy skill to me...

Unrelated Question: My thread list for each board used to have a column for "views" (along with "replies" and "flags" which I still have). I have somehow managed to eliminate it. How do I get it back?

[edit on 10/15/2008 by verbal kint]




posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:00 PM
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I'm not an evolution scientists but I would say fight or flight. Fight or flight meaning, loose those wings and get arms to fight. Of all the creatures we got on the planet, you don't see any with both wings and arms. Can't have it both ways I guess.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by verbal kint
 


"OK Skunks: When was the last time you saw a chicken soaring high above your head?"

Sept 1999,when my ex found out I was moving abroad without telling her.

But it was shallow fried and mixed with noodles,so I'm guessing that doesn't count.




posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:04 PM
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reply to post by Techsnow
 


Precisely. Maybe it's different for you, but I haven't seen any chickens kickin anybody's butt lately, ya know? Heck, I bet a big pidgeon could last a few rounds with a chicken? Point being, so I'd say their tendency is flight. ...doh! They don't fly! WTF?



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by AGENT_T
 


HAHAHAHAHAHA! You too eh?

Thought I was the only one to see a chicken fly.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:15 PM
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I don't know, ive seen some roosters delve into alittle bit of the old ultra violence from time to time. hens, the girls, tend to be alot less Territorial. and this is in the chicken yard. i cant even imagine how they act at cockfights, but i can guess that they get pretty wild, otherwise people would have gotten bored with it along time ago.

im thinking they just got tired of flying away when their space kept getting invaded over the milleniums/eons and maybe there just hasnt been enough time for their wings to fall off.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:18 PM
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OK, let me take a stab. I have a degree in Biology from Texas A&M University; particularly, evolutionary biology. Flightless birds develop less need for the use of their wings, as there are less predators/threats that require flight to escape. A good example of this evolutionary change is taking place right before our eyes. Just look at cosmopolitan (city dwelling) doves/pigeons, there is no predatory threat to them. Although, they can fly, they only do it minimally, but had dramatically reduced the amount and distance of their flight over the past century. This will continue until they no longer fly at all, as their breast muscles grow larger/heavier than their wing structure & strength can carry via flight. Their legs will grow stronger to make up for their inability to fly to escape danger.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:23 PM
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Just this morning. Chickens fly, and fairly well, until that point where they become heavy adults.

I have an ongoing battle with wild chickens -- now on our sixth generation since being turned loose from a neighbor's coop. I was raised to not kill anything I didn't intend to eat, weeds and bugs excepted. I will eat these buggers if things get that bad, but my focus now is to keep the roosters away from the house, as they tend toward gathering around the sand by the house at 2:00 a.m. and crowing. Not a pretty crow either..... it sounds like they are strangling.

Now, perhaps I took your thread too literally....... is this a metaphor you are crafting, or perhaps a foray into evolutionary principles? If so, chickens can fly until they become sneaky, crafty and utterly paranoid. At that point, their survival is augmented by stealth and running, and thus they gain weight and sacrifice the ability to sustain flight.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:41 PM
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evolution is pretty random
sometimes something's added, sometimes something's taken away...

but it's all random, so sometimes it works out,
and sometimes the organism fails to live with it's new being

in this case the bird lost the ability to fly
but still managed to live long enough to reproduce and pass on that gene
and so forth and so forth



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:53 PM
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It depends on the chicken.......

Game chickens are much closer to the Jungle fowl that are the wild variety of your 'domesticated' fryers and layers, and they can fly pretty well.......

We had some on the place a few years back that could fly over the house ( one story ranch type) with a bit of a running start......The heavier layers are a different story.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by verbal kint
reply to post by Techsnow
 


Precisely. Maybe it's different for you, but I haven't seen any chickens kickin anybody's butt lately, ya know? Heck, I bet a big pidgeon could last a few rounds with a chicken? Point being, so I'd say their tendency is flight. ...doh! They don't fly! WTF?


They don't fly, they don't fight... so that only means they're in the process of trying to do one or the other. So the chicken is stuck in the middle of an evolution?



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 03:03 PM
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Chickens are deliberately bred by man from Wild Fowl, which can fly. Using the Chicken's apparent inability to fly as an argument against Evolution is weak at best. they haven't evolved naturally, but have been purposefully bred to be the way they are.

It's like asking what advantages are conferred on certain breeds of Dog, when they have all been bred by man for different purposes. Evolution isn't a factor when you're talking about domesticated animals.

Chickens have been bred to produce meat and eggs for man. As a result, they have got somewhat cumbersome for flight, perhaps deliberately to stop them escaping. I'm sure big, fat, flightless Chickens would not last that long at all in the wild if predators were about.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 



I agree with that totally. Starred.

However, chickens DO fly and DO fight! Roosters can be pretty damned mean, if you ask me.

Or was the OP talking about Tyson's type bred chickens? You know, the ones with all of those growth hormones injected to maximize weight?

Look at free-range chickens in comparison. You will see birds that can fly quite well. Much better than a REAL flightless bird, the osterich or the penguin.

Bad example by the OP.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 03:14 PM
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While driving on Colo. Hwy. 24 outside of Ft. Carson Colo. I saw a rabbit fall out of the sky and bounce six foot in the air after it hit the freeway. But no flying chickens.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 03:21 PM
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Apparently there are about 40 + flightless birds in the world. Most have evolved in other ways to defend themselves.

I think the theory for most is that they evolved due to lack of predators (like on islands). Others have speed, agility in water, or like the Ostrich have size, speed and one hell of a nasty kick.

As for chickens...they apparently don't have a well produced keel or the have a flattened breastbone and the muscles for flight don't attach the same way (I think it's something like that)

Chicken bones are also smaller and weaker than flighted birds.

There are wild chickens that live in dense foliage. I'd guess that's why they don't need to be able to fly great distance...just enough to get up into the canopy and away from danger.

Over a few centuries they have been bread to be much heavier than their wild kin, so flight of any kind in modern chickens is virtually impossible. They're just too fat and their bones snap very easily.

I read somewhere that many commercial chicken farms are used to having crippled chickens whose legs snap due to the weight of the birds.

Human definitely capitalized on it!

Most turkeys in commercial farms can no longer fly either due to their weight. Not often they have to clip wings anymore unless it's a hobby farm or small organic farm.

Prolly more info than is required but it was just one of those things I searched one day out of curiosity.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 03:41 PM
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Having worked on several commercialized chicken farms when I was younger, I can tell you that crippled chickens is the LEAST of which a chicken farmer worries about.

I'm glad I don't do that work anymore.

In any event, the chicken, being bred to its current condition, is more flight worthy than many, many other types of birds.

By the way, how far can a pheasant fly?



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 03:45 PM
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Most game birds, even in the wild, don't fly that far. Turkeys being one of them. Quail don't fly far either.

Why is that? I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that they are stealthy foresters, at least in the turkey's case. The quail expends a tremendous amount of energy in flight. They are plump little guys, which is why they are hunted.

Look at the roadrunner, for example. It rarely EVER flies, but it CAN fly!

Remember folks, birds are dinosaurs. haha

[edit on 15-10-2008 by Jay-in-AR]



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by justgeneric
 



Oh, I wanted to comment on one more thing. The comment about commercial chicken farmers and the chickens breaking leg bones.

I'm not so sure that has anything to do with the bone density SOLELY... I would imagine that a lot, if not all, of that has more to do with the fact that they cram 50,000 chickens into a single 50X300 ft. house....

You can literally walk in there and clap your hands and watch chickens die of heart attacks. The chicken farming industry is a horrible business.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 06:06 PM
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aahhhh... come to think of it, I've never encountered a game or wild chicken. That they only fly relatively small distances makes sense (and that they do it well); and that breeding was the primary reason for their loss of flight... For those who care to be so critical, I wasn't arguing vs. evolution, I was trying to gain understanding. ...and thanks to the various skunks, I have.

I guess the process this is highlighting is that the traits of an organism evolve and become more or less permanent due to advantages they give the organism (or are relatively rapidly wiped out if they are a disadvantage). Additionally, traits/characteristics that stop providing any sort of advantage slowly dissipate and either mutate into something else or vanish altogether as individuals which lose the trait via random mutation maintain the same survival rate as those with the trait. Whatever...

Thanks folks for enabling me to learn something unusual today.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by verbal kint

I guess the process this is highlighting is that the traits of an organism evolve and become more or less permanent due to advantages they give the organism (or are relatively rapidly wiped out if they are a disadvantage). Additionally, traits/characteristics that stop providing any sort of advantage slowly dissipate and either mutate into something else or vanish altogether as individuals which lose the trait via random mutation maintain the same survival rate as those with the trait. Whatever...

Thanks folks for enabling me to learn something unusual today.



I almost guarantee that this is proves the fact that we as humans tend to use less than 10% of our grey matter.



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