Elephant Bird Egg Shell

Late Pleistocene, 43 MYA
Location: Madagascar

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Each fossil comes with its own display stand!

Egg shells are about 1.5 to 2 inches long

What Were Elephant Birds?  

Elephant birds were massive flightless birds that lived on the island of Madagascar, though they went extinct around 1,000 years ago. They are closely related to modern ostriches. The term "Elephant Bird" comes from famous explorer Marco Polo in 1298, who wrote of a bird that could "seize an elephant with its talons."

Their diets are not well known, but it is believed that they ate berries, coconuts, and other fruits. These birds were once widespread from the southern tip of Madagascar to the northern tip. The exact reason for their extinction is unknown, but scientists largely agree it was human caused. Some theories suggest over hunting, some suggest human caused fires, and some believe disease. It's entirely possible there were multiple causes.

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