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Leeds nostalgia: Museum home to biggest bird egg ever laid

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It’s a hard to imagine exactly how the gigantic bid that laid this colossal egg would have looked.

It’s a hard to imagine exactly how the gigantic bid that laid this colossal egg would have looked.

AT three metres in height, the Madagascan elephant bird was one of the largest birds that ever lived. Related to modern kiwis, elephant birds disappeared around 1200AD and laid eggs up to a foot long, the biggest bird eggs ever found.

The massive egg, pictured, is housed at the Leeds Discovery Centre, part of their collection of up to 10,000 historic bird eggs.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “The huge breadth of the egg collection is quite remarkable and it must have been a daunting task to catalogue it in such detail. Protecting and documenting our collections in Leeds takes an incredible amount of knowledge, diligence and discipline, which is testament to the expertise of our fabulous teams on site.”

Housed at the state-of-the-art storage facility at Clarence Dock, the egg collection, which includes specimens from around the world, is being carefully documented to piece together an accurate record of its impressive scope and scale.

Zoological project placement Claire Miles has been working on the collection alongside experts.

Also part of the collection is a penguin egg taken during one of Ernest Shackleton’s famous Antarctic expeditions.

During the Second World War, almost all the eggs in the collection were destroyed during an air raid in March 1941. Leeds Discovery Centre offers free visits by appointment. To book, call 0113 378 2100 or email discovery.centre@leeds.gov.uk