Tall Tales

Iron Age Brits kept ‘revered’ chickens as pets

And other stories from the stranger side of life

A chicken

Ancient Brits kept chickens kept as pets and used them as symbolic burial companions for hundreds of years, new research has suggested. The bird was so “revered” that Iron Age communities viewed eating its meat and eggs as taboo, reported The Telegraph. Professor Naomi Sykes, from the University of Exeter, said the findings show that “for centuries chickens were celebrated and venerated”.

Octogenarian breaks sailing record

A Japanese man has become the world’s oldest person to sail solo non-stop across the Pacific Ocean at the age of 83. Kenichi Horie departed from San Francisco on his sailboat, the Suntory Mermaid III, on 27 March, and arrived on 4 June in Japan’s Cape Hinomisaki. “Don’t let your dreams just stay as dreams. Have a goal and work towards achieving this and a beautiful life awaits,” he told CNN.

‘Invasive’ songbird could out-croon robins  

The dawn chorus of robins and blackbirds could be threatened by a species of subtropical songbird, reported The Times. Ornithologists fear that the highly invasive red-billed leiothrix could already be establishing itself in the south of England. “Its loud and frequent song could significantly alter the soundscape of Britain’s dawn chorus,” said the researchers in the paper published in the journal Ibis.

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