Christie’s scientific specialist James Hyslop poses for photographs with a sub-fossilized pre-17th century Elephant Bird egg at the auction house’s premises in London in this March 27 file photo. Photo by: AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File
April 25, 2013 10:27:26 AM
LONDON -- 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 $101,813. It was sold to an anonymous buyer over the telephone after about 10 minutes of competitive bidding.
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 tall. Christie's says their eggs are 100 times the size of an average chicken's.
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