Royal Society Open Science
Published December 12, 201 (Brief from the Royal Society)
This study identifies broiler (meat) chickens as a symbolic species of how humans have changed the biosphere. With a worldwide population of over 21 billion, broiler chickens outnumber wild bird species populations. The size and shape of the broiler skeleton, and its bone chemistry and genetics are distinct from the chicken’s early domesticated and wild ancestors. Broiler chickens have great potential to be fossilized as an index species of the Anthropocene.

Corresponding author: Carys Bennett, University of Leicester –