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posted: 4/25/2013 5:48 AM

Elephant bird egg nets $101,813 at auction

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  • Associated Press/March 27, 2013Christie'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.

      Associated Press/March 27, 2013Christie'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.

 
Associated Press

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 had been valued at 20,000 to 30,000 pounds pre-sale, and was sold to an anonymous buyer over the telephone after about 10 minutes of competitive bidding.

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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 high. Christie's says their eggs are 100 times the size of an average chicken's.

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