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Massive extinct elephant bird egg for sale in London

A similar Aepyornis maximus egg sold for $101,613 at a 2013 auction.

By Ben Hooper

LONDON, April 29 (UPI) -- A London auction house said a rare egg of an extinct elephant bird is expected to fetch up to $76,800 when it goes under the hammer.

The egg, scheduled to be auctioned this week, belonged to an elephant bird, an extinct flightless bird that was a cousin to New Zealand's kiwi.

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The Madagascar-native birds, known scientifically as Aepyornis maximus, could grow to up to 10 feet tall and weigh up to 600 pounds.

The elephant bird egg measures nearly 12 inches tall and is 200 times larger than a chicken's egg.

A similar elephant bird egg sold for $101,613 when it was auctioned in 2013 at Christie's auction house in London.

Italian customs officials at Bergamo Airport seized an elephant bird egg in March of this year when a man attempted to ship the egg to Los Angeles. The man was reported to prosecutors.

Elephant birds went extinct about 300 years ago from over-hunting.

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