elephant bird eggs
by Ali Berman
Categories: Science.
Photo: FunkMonk

An egg estimated to be several hundred years old, and laid by the extinct elephant bird, has sold for twice its worth for $101,813 dollars at an auction in London.

The foot long and 9 inches in diameter fossilized egg, dating back to around the 17th century, came from a large (as tall as 11 feet) flightless bird who lived in Madagascar. The elephant bird was seen by French governor Étienne de Flacourt in the 1640′s and 1650′s and by Marco Polo in the 12th and 13th centuries. No one is sure when exactly they became extinct, or what the causes were, although human interference is one of the potential possibilities.

Occasionally eggs from the bird are found. They can be viewed at a variety of museums in England, the USA and Australia. Even David Attenborough owns an almost complete egg that he pieced together while filming in Madagascar in the 1960′s.

Christie’s reports that an elephant bird’s egg is over 100 times larger than that of an average chicken egg.

 

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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