Giant prehistoric egg seized at Italian airport

2015-03-19 18:42
Aepyornis Maximus

Aepyornis Maximus

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rome - An Italian man was caught trying to send a giant prehistoric egg worth more than €90 000 to the United States, Italian customs officials said on Thursday.

Authorities at Bergamo Airport in the country's northeast discovered the egg - which measured 50cm in length and 75cm in diameter - in a parcel destined for Los Angeles.

The sender, who declared the egg's value to be less than €500, insisted it was a wedding gift.

The egg is thought to be from a so-called "bird elephant", or "Aepyornis Maximus", an emu-like creature weighing half a tonne.

The bird lived on the island of Madagascar during the Pleistocene era, which ended 12 000 years ago.

The sender told the Corriere Della Sera newspaper that his wife was Madagascan, and he had received the egg as a wedding gift.

"You can find eggs like this everywhere [in Madagascar] for a few euros. My wife collects them, her family has a few of them," he was quoted as saying.

The man could face a jail sentence and €5 000 fine for trying to export a cultural item without permission.

Read more on:    italy  |  paleontology

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.