Christie's specialist James Hyslop holds a chicken egg next to a pre-17th century, sub-fossilised Elephant Bird egg in London March 27, 2013. (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett)

Mammoth elephant bird egg nets $100,000 bid at auction

The oversized ovum is believed to date back before the 17th century


Associated Press
April 24, 2013 6:43PM (UTC)

LONDON (AP) — A massive, partly fossilized egg laid by a now-extinct elephant bird has sold for more than double its estimate at a London auction.

Christie's auction house said Wednesday that the foot-long, nearly nine-inches in diameter egg fetched 66,675 pounds ($101,813). It had been valued at 20,000 to 30,000 pounds pre-sale, and was sold to an anonymous buyer over the telephone after about 10 minutes of competitive bidding.

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Elephant birds were wiped out several hundred years ago. The oversized ovum, laid on the island of Madagascar, is believed to date back before the 17th century.

Flightless, fruit-gobbling elephant birds resembled giant ostriches and could grow to be 11 feet high (3.4 meters). Christie's says their eggs are 100 times the size of an average chicken's.


Associated Press

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