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Christie's Displays Rare Fossilized Egg of Extinct Elephant Bird

Christie's Displays Rare, Fossilized Egg of Extinct Elephant Bird
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Christie's specialist James Hyslop holds a pre-17th century, sub-fossilized Elephant Bird egg in London, March 27, 2013.

Just in time for the Christian Easter season, Christie's auction house in London has put on display what is thought to be one of the largest eggs ever seen: a rare, fossilized egg from the extinct Elephant Bird.

The egg measures 30 centimeters high and 21 centimeters wide, and is expected to fetch up more than $45,000 when it is auctioned at the end of the month.

Experts with Christie's say Elephant Bird eggs are the largest the world has ever seen, even larger than those laid by dinosaurs. The enormous egg is about 120 times the size of an ordinary chicken egg

The giant birds lived in Madagascar and became extinct sometime between the 13th and 17th centuries. It is thought that this rare egg would have been discovered in the late 19th or early 20th century.

The egg will be auctioned off in London on April 24.

The Elephant Bird was the largest bird ever to have lived. It resembled a heavily-built ostrich and would have stood up to 3.4 meters high. It is thought to have been hunted to extinction.


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