Chicken of the Sea: Poultry May Have Reached Americas Via Polynesia

By Bower, B. | Science News, June 9, 2007 | Go to article overview

Chicken of the Sea: Poultry May Have Reached Americas Via Polynesia


Bower, B., Science News


Thor Heyerdahl got it backwards. More than 40 years ago, the late explorer proposed that the Inca or their predecessors voyaged from South America to Polynesia by raft. On the contrary, a new study indicates that Polynesian seafarers reached what's now Chile by about 620 years ago. That conclusion hinges on the first evidence of when chickens arrived in the Americas.

A team led by anthropologist Alice A. Storey of the University of Auckland in New Zealand used radiocarbon dating and a comparison of ancient DNA to determine a Polynesian origin for a chicken bone previously unearthed at Chile's E1 Arenal site. Mitochondrial DNA extracted from the El Arenal bone contains an exact copy of a genetic sequence that appears in comparable DNA from 600-to-2,000year-old chicken bones found in Tonga and American Samoa. Those islands lie 6,000 miles west of Chile.

Europeans arrived in South America around 500 years ago, after the Inca had incorporated chickens into religious ceremonies, according to Storeys group.

Storey and her coworkers performed radiocarbon dating on one El Arenal chicken bone selected from 50 bones recovered in 2002. The researchers then isolated a particular segment of mitochondrial DNA from the same bone and from 11 chicken bones found at pre-European archaeological sites in Polynesia. They found the same sequence in all the bones.

This stretch of DNA undergoes frequent alterations over generations. Yet the researchers found the same DNA segment in feathers of two living chickens belonging to a blue-egg-laying breed in Chile. Selective breeding may by chance have preserved the Polynesian sequence, the researchers suggest. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Chicken of the Sea: Poultry May Have Reached Americas Via Polynesia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.