An unusual chicken, dubbed the ‘Lamborghini of poultry’, has recently become one of the most mesmerising topics of discussions online. This Gothic bird named Ayam Cemani is black from its comb to its claws, including its muscles, bones and internal organs making it one of the most exotic and rarest breed in the world found mainly in Indonesia.
In the region, it is believed that the blackness of the Cemani makes it an ideal bridge between the human and the supernatural world and was also considered a bird of the elite. Its charcoal-colored blood is rumored to be a delicacy of spirits that bring power and wealth, making it a good luck charm for the people.
The cause of the chicken’s blackness is a genetic condition known as fibromelanosis which is caused by a mutation that affects how pigment-producing cells work.In ordinary chickens, the cells that will be formed into melanin-producing melanocytes moving through embryo in a certain pattern.
In Ayam Cemani, the cells invade tissue that will late turn into fibers, such as muscle and organs, in the body, caused the dark color. Several years ago, Leif Andersson, a Swedish geneticist at Uppsala found a gene called endothelian-3 (EDN3), which they discovered to be involved in the regulation of melanocyte cells which produce pigments. They found around 10 times as much EDN3 was expressed in the skin of adult black chickens than in other breeds.