The Buffalo Museum of Science recently made an incredible discovery which has its roots in a confusion. A very rare egg that belonged to an extinct elephant bird was accidentally discovered in a locked cabinet. Moreover, the cabinet was located inside the storage room of the museum, which proved that whoever needed to watch over it probably forgot. Zoology Collections Manager Paige Langle is the one who actually stumbled upon the valuable egg. She is currently helping with the modernization of the catalog system of the museum.
Accidentally, she found a cream-colored egg which was mislabeled as a model. She thought that something was strange, so she analyzed the egg further. The biggest surprise came when Langle eventually figured out that it was real. According to her, right after she opened the box and saw the egg, she realized that it must not be only a model. She was able to feel the difference, see it in its color. That was the moment when she thought that maybe it is the real deal.
A very rare egg discovered in a museum storage room
After the Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State analyzed the egg, her theory was confirmed. They examined and radiographed it and finally agreed that it was indeed real. The Director of Collections, Kathryn Leacock, says that because of the white specks on it, they think that the egg was actually fertilized.
The rare egg weights 3.5 pounds and the museum purchased it back in 1939, from London. When the museum opened back in 1929, the trend was to fill it with collections. Now, in public institutions, there are only about 40 such elephant bird eggs that are intact. The elephant birds went extinct about 600 years ago. They only lived on the island of Madagascar and were flightless.
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