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Are Chickens Mammals or Birds?
Chickens are not mammals as they have wings and feathers which make them a species of bird and further classified as fowls. Many people do not know that chickens are not mammals at all. There is much debate over the correct term that should be used to describe the chicken’s biological nature and there is much confusion on this topic.
If you want to find out more about using the correct term for chickens and what type of class they belong to, then this article has all the answers for you.
In comparison to mammals, chickens are not classified as Mammalia, but rather Aves which shows that scientifically, chickens are not related to mammals. Chickens also do not share much genetic relation to mammals and the classification differences between the two are vastly different.
Surprisingly, chickens are not closely related to mammals, but rather to reptiles. The evolving process between chickens and mammals is not the same, and there are more characteristics in chickens that intertwine with reptiles than mammals, however, chickens are neither of these. Instead, they are members of the bird order Galliformes.
What Makes Chickens a Bird?
The chicken has feathers, wings, a beak, warm-blood, and lay eggs. These are all common characteristics associated with birds. They share the same classifications, and all share a common ancestry. Furthermore, a bird’s digestive system is slightly different than mammals, as they use their proventriculus for food storage and a gizzard which is the muscular part of the stomach that uses grit to grind grains into finer particles.
As with most birds, the chicken’s reproductive system is broken up into two parts: the oviducts and ovary. The yolk develops in the ovary and is then released into the oviduct. Unlike mammals, birds’ ovaries release the next ovum several minutes after an egg has been laid.
Why Are Chickens Not Mammals?
The confusion on this subject stem from the controversy over the features and behaviors that chickens display which can overlap with certain mammal and reptilian creatures which has led many people to believe that chickens are mammals or reptiles, or something closely related to the two.
Featured Image Credit: Ivdonata, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.