The world’s largest egg, belonging to an extinct elephant bird, is up for auction at Christies in London. The egg, which is up to 100 times larger than a chicken egg and larger than those laid by dinosaours, is expected to fetch up to $40,000. Elephant birds were enormous flightless birds that once lived on the island of Madagascar. They became extinct probably in the 17th or 18th century.Étienne de Flacourt, a French governor of Madagascar in the 1640s and 1650s, mentions an ostrich-like bird said to inhabit unpopulated regions. The explorer and traveler Marco Polo also mentions very large birds in accounts of his journeys to the East during the 12th and 13th centuries.
James Hyslop from Christies auction house says it is uncommon to find an elephant bird eggs in such good condition. “It was laid by a giant elephant bird that lived on Madagascar and went extinct somewhere around the 13th to 17th centuries,” he said. “It’s very rare to find one that’s complete. To see one in such perfect condition is a real treat.”