Foot-Long Elephant Bird Egg Sells for More Than $100,000 at Auction

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An auction in London sold a giant elephant bird egg for $101,813, though the egg is only worth an estimated $30,000 to $40,000.

James Hyslop, of Christie's Auction House, said the reason it grew to such a high price is because it was in excellent condition and is one of the only eggs left from the extinct bird.

Elephant birds stood at more than 11 feet tall and were the largest birds to ever roam the planet. 

"The elephant bird. It's easiest to think of it as an overgrown ostrich," Hyslop said.

The bird, like the ostrich, was unable to fly. It ate mostly fruit and was rumored to eat baby elephants, but this was later proved untrue.

"The Elephant Bird was thought to be the giant flying beast known as the Roc (or Ruhk) in the tales of Sinbad and accounts of Marco Polo's voyages. The bird grew to around 10 or 11 feet in height and whilst probably unable to devour an elephant, as the Roc was reputed to do, it certainly was the largest bird ever to have lived. It was estimated to weigh up to 1100lbs…the birds are thought to have gone extinct between the 14th and 17th centuries," the website for Christie's Auction House said.

The egg is partially fossilized and measures at more than a foot long and nine inches in diameter. It came from Madagascar in the 17th century.

It only took ten minutes for the price of the egg to climb to more than $100,000. The person who won the egg wished to be anonymous.

"It's the first one that I've handled that is absolutely complete. The only other examples I've seen were patched together from various pieces," Hyslop said. 

Sources: Inquisitr, Hot News Online