- (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
A huge egg has sold for a whopping $101,813 at an auction in London, according to reports out this week.
The egg in question is a large partly fossilized egg of an extinct elephant bird. The egg is 12 inches long and nearly nine-inches in diameter. The initial value of the egg was just half of what it sold for, at about $50,000.
The egg was sold at London's Christie's auction house and was bought by an anonymous buyer over the phone after just 10 minutes of bidding.
The fossilized egg was found on the island of Madagascar, and is believed to be dated from before the 17th century.
Elephant birds have been extinct for several hundred years. They were a family of large flightless birds that lived on the island of Madagascar.
However, it is not known by scientists why these birds became extinct.
They belong to Aepyornis, heavy birds that are believed to have been more than 3 meters tall and weighed up to 400kg.
Some eggs found of the Aepyornis have a circumference of more than 1 meter.
Étienne de Flacourt, a French governor of Madagascar in the 1640s and 1650s, recorded frequent sightings of elephant birds. 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. These earlier accounts are today believed to describe elephant birds.
Aepyornis, believed to have been more than 3 m (10 ft) tall and weighing close to 400 kg (880 lb), was at the time the world's largest bird.
Remains of Aepyornis adults and eggs have been found; in some cases the eggs have a circumference of more than 1 m (3 ft 3 in) and a length up to 34 cm (13 in).
The egg volume is about 160 times greater than that of a chicken egg.