Not long ago in the country of Colombia, a chicken was born with webbed feet, similar to a duck (pictured).
As some people suggested, this bird isn’t the result of a duck sneaking into the hen house because experts say it’s impossible for the two species to interbreed. Instead, experts said the bird is a genetic mutation.
My guess is that the developmental genes that were supposed to cause programmed cell death for those cells located between the bird’s toes did not activate and do their job properly. As a result, those cells survived, leaving the bird with skin remaining between its toes. This is a very basic developmental program that also leaves humans with fingers instead of webbed hands. I wonder what other genetic defects this bird might be harboring since programed cell death is basic to development.
The bird’s owner, who has raised chickens his entire life, said he’s never seen the deformity before.
Cited story and image source.
tags: chicken with webbed feet