Rare egg from extinct bird on show

21-05-2008 | |

An egg from a flightless bird, which has been extinct for over 150 years, has gone on display for the first time in a museum in Liverpool, reports the BBC.

The egg from the Great Auk – one of just 75 eggs from the species left in the world – has been in the World Museum Liverpool’s collection since the 1850s.
The bird, which used to live on both sides of the Atlantic, was once killed for its oil, feathers and eggs.
The last breeding pair was spotted in 1844 in Iceland, and the last recorded sighting was in Newfoundland in 1852.
“This egg was collected long ago when nature conservation was virtually unknown, and is a stark reminder that whole species can disappear in this way,” said Clem Fisher, the museum’s curator of vertebrate zoology.
“It is probably the most interesting and beautiful markings of all the 75 eggs which are known to exist in the world… However, because it is so rare and so precious we have put it on display in our atrium where people first come into the museum, but we’re only leaving it there until the end of May because we don’t want its markings to fade.”

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