At the 35th Annual International Geological Congress in South Africa, which is happening right now in Cape Town, scientists and expert have banded together to propose the delineation of what they're calling an Anthropocene epoch—a new, modern geological period in the Earth's history wherein humans have had extensive impact on the planet. Hang on, hang on, before you get too excited about humans finally getting to take credit for something, it's not exactly good news. "The warming temperature, higher sea levels, ash from fossil fuels, plastic waste, a dramatic increase in erosion, the spread of animal species around the world and radioactive particles left around the world from nuclear bomb tests would all contribute to permanent changes in the Earth's rocks, the scientists said," according to a report in The Independent. So yeah, our impact on the planet has been pretty powerful, but not great.
As scientists and researchers try to figure out what the "Golden Spike"—"the marker that scientists can point to years hence—perhaps millions of years hence—and say, 'There! That's the start of the Anthropocene Epoch,'" explains the BBC—of the age of humans is/was, there are some markers of civilization that may provide valuable clues. Clues like: chickens and chicken fossils.
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"It has become the world's most common bird," University of Leicester Professor of Geology Jan Zalasiewicz told The Guardian. "It has been fossilized in thousands of landfill sites and on street corners around the world."