You could call it a lost treasure of sorts, and it was discovered at the Buffalo Museum of Science.
On Monday, the museum announced it made a rare discovery in its collection: a fully-intact Elephant Bird Egg. Get this, the egg measures 12 inches long and 28 inches in circumference and weighs 3-pounds 5-ounces.
According to museum staff the egg was mislabeled as a model due to the rarity of this item
The egg was rediscovered as the oological collection was being inventoried and cataloged.
Museum staffers tell us the egg was purchased from Edward Gerrard & Sons of London in 1939. Wanting to authenticate the discovery, staffers turned to the experts at SUNY Buffalo State. Art conservators radiographed the egg and confirmed it was real.
“Lost, hidden or misidentified artifacts and specimens are not uncommon in museums that have been collecting for centuries, and we are thrilled to rediscover this rare egg in our collection,” said Director of Collections, Kathryn Leacock. “The Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences has been collecting since 1861, and as we continue to care for the collection, there is always more to learn and discover.”
The Elephant Bird, which couldn't fly, lived on the island of Madagascar. The bird averaged 10-feet in height and weighed anywhere between 770 and 1,100 pounds.
Experts say Elephant Birds went extinct on the island between 1000 and 1700 AD.
Fewer than 40 intact eggs are believed to be in existence in public institutions. The Buffalo Museum of Science will unveil the Elephant Bird egg to the public on May 1, as part of the Rethink Extinct science studio.
The discovery was recently profiled in Smithsonian Magazine.
For additional information about the museum, click here.