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Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Extinct elephant bird egg up for auction

  • A Christie's specialist poses with a sub-fossilized pre-17th century elephant bird egg at the auction house in London.

    Matt Dunham / Associated Press

    A Christie's specialist poses with a sub-fossilized pre-17th century elephant bird egg at the auction house in London.

LONDON -- It's a foot long, nearly nine inches in diameter, and would once have made a really big omelet.
A London auction house is hoping buyers will be scrambling to take a crack at this natural wonder, a massive fossilized egg laid long ago on the island of Madagascar by a now-extinct elephant bird.
Christie's said Wednesday that the oversized ovum -- laid sometime before elephant birds were wiped out several hundred years ago -- is expected to sell for up to $45,000.
Flightless, fruit-gobbling elephant birds resembled giant ostriches and could grow to be 11 feet high. Christie's said their eggs are 100 times the size of an average chicken's.
The egg is being sold during a travel and science sale on April 24.
Story tags » Animals

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