21 February 2009
"In 1474, a chicken passing for a rooster laid an egg, and was prosecuted by law in the city of Basel. The animal was sentenced in a solemn judicial proceeding and condemned to be burned alive "for the heinous and unnatural crime of laying an egg." The execution took place "with as great solemnity as would have been observed in consigning a heretic to the flames, and was witnessed by an immense crowd of townsmen and peasants." The same kind of prosecution took place in Switzerland again as late as 1730."
– E.V. Walter Nature on Trial: The Case of the Rooster Who Laid an Egg