"Someday, son, this will all be yours."

Shutterstock / Barbara Miers “Someday, son, this will all be yours.”

We imagine it’s a common taunt on chicken playgrounds: “Your father is a DUCK!” (I mean, why wouldn’t it be? Ducks are gross.) But for one brand-new baby chick at Dubai’s Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, it’s just the honest truth. Researchers there have announced the birth of a chicken that was fathered by a duck, in a technique that could represent new hope for extinct species.

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This isn’t something you can do on a whim; Daddy Duck was in training for this his entire life. Researchers began injecting him with chicken germ cells (the ones responsible for making eggs and sperm) when the duck was still in utero. Accordingly, when he reached maturity, the duck produced chicken gametes, which allowed him to reproduce with a female chicken and have a perfectly normal chicken baby with a very nontraditional family.

This could provide a way for scientists to shore up endangered or even previously extinct species. Or it could be the precursor to seven-headed beasts rising from the sea, dogs and cats living together, etc. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if we all get destroyed by chicken-duck monsters.

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