The partly fossilized elephant bird egg was snapped up at a London auction for double its estimate.
The elephant bird was a native of Madagascar until it went extinct at some point during the 17th or 18th century. The birds were large like an ostrich and stood up to 3m tall. Their massive eggs had a circumference of more than 1m and had a volume 160 times larger than that of a chicken's egg. Christie's auction house reported that the winning bidder paid over $100,000 for the egg after a ten-minute period of competitive bidding.
It isn't clear exactly what caused the elephant birds to go extinct however it is frequently assumed that it was down to human hunting activities. The remains of eggshells found within the remains of campfires suggest that the eggs may have been a valuable source of food that could sustain entire families.
"A massive, partly fossilized egg laid by a now-extinct elephant bird has sold for more than double its estimate at a London auction."
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