Curators at the Buffalo Museum of Science were aware of having an elephant bird egg model in their collection. Then, they accidentally discovered this particular object looked a little bit too realistic, so they decided to investigate. This is how they discovered it wasn’t really a model, but a real egg.
The model looked a little bit too realistic
The Buffalo Museum of Science had to embrace technology, so the managers decided to update their catalog in a digital system. For this, they had to review their collection of over 1,000 eggs, so they stumbled upon an elephant bird egg model. Immediately, this exhibit captured everyone’s attention.
Paige Langle, the manager of the zoology collections, thought this is no regular egg model. First of all, it was a lot bigger than all the other exhibits from the same category. Its outer shell was full of detailed ridges, and its color was smooth and beautiful. Therefore, Langle thought there was no way it could be a model.
This is one of the few elephant bird eggs that are displayed for the public
The elephant bird egg looked as if it was partially fossilized. Its diameter was over 28 inches, and it weighed over 3 pounds. Therefore, the curators decided to perform an X-ray on it and see what it was. They took it at the University of New York at Buffalo, and discovered their beliefs were actually true.
The elephant bird egg was actually real, and it contained some white traces within. These spots might be a sign of fertilization, so things have got even more interesting. The situation is extremely exciting, as there are only about 40 real elephant bird eggs that people can see in museums or other public institutions.
This bird laid the biggest eggs from all vertebrates, and went extinct 600 years ago. Its native area was situated somewhere on the southeastern coast of Africa, which is precisely where this egg came from. Museum records show they have bought the egg from a taxidermist who acquired it on the Madagascar island.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons