How did the American chicken live for seven years with its head chopped off?

20 March 2005

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Question

How did the American chicken live for seven years with its head chopped off?

Answer

When its head was chopped off, a tiny part of the head called the brain stem, which links the spinal cord to the top of the brain, was left intact. That's the part of the brain that control breathing, circulation and heart rate, so the chicken had just enough brain left to keep the physiological processes going. They fed it with a tube down its neck for seven years.

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