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, Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The egg, which is estimated to fetch 20,000 to 30,000 pounds ($30,210 to $45,315 and 23,645 to 35,467 euro) in the forthcoming Travel, Science and Natural History sale on April 24, measures over 100 times the average size of a chicken egg, and stands at 21cm in diameter and 30cm in height. The extinct Elephant Bird species was native to Madagascar and among the heaviest known birds. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
LONDON (AP) — 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 66,675 pounds ($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.
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 (3.4 meters). Christie's says their eggs are 100 times the size of an average chicken's.