The largest of the Elephant birds is Aepyornis maximus. This enormous bird is found only on the island of Madagascar. It stood between 9 and 10 feet (2.7 to 3 m) tall and weighed about 1,000 pounds (454 kg). When humans first inhabited the island this bird was widespread and although they probably become extinct by the 1500s, descriptions of their existence are reported as late as the mid-1800’s. Their only major predator before the arrival of humans was the crocodile.
The demise of this once plentiful bird appears to be related to human intervention. Their extinction took place gradually. The relative abundance of the Aepyornis could have easily made the human inhabitants take them for granted. Evidence suggests whole families dined on one egg.
This large bird laid an incredibly large egg. Some Aepyornis maximus eggs have the capacity to hold 2 gallons (8.5-L) of fluid.
Available as an unpainted, unmounted cast suitable for some research or reference purposes. Note: some portions of the original fossil may have been scientifically restored.