A museum in Buffalo, N.Y., recently discovered that a rare elephant bird egg in its collection had been mislabeled as a model for decades.
A collections manager at the Buffalo Museum of Science was updating its catalog to a digital system when she discovered the "realistic" cream-colored egg among its collection of more than 1,000 eggs. The partially fossilized egg measured 28 inches around and weighed more than 3 pounds.
The curators took the egg to the Art Conservation Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo for a radiography — a technique that uses X-rays to see inside an object. The test not only confirmed their suspicions, but it also showed "specs of white" that indicated it could have been fertilized.
Museum records showed a previous curator had acquired the elephant bird egg in 1939 from a London taxidermist for $92. The taxidermist had bought the egg on the island of Madagascar — located off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean — the birds’ native habitat.
The flightless bird grew to be 10 feet tall, weighed between 770 and 1,100 pounds and laid the largest eggs of any vertebrate — even dinosaurs. It went extinct more than 600 years ago.
elephant bird：名詞，象鳥。例句：There are fewer than 40 intact elephant bird eggs held in public institutions.（公共機構典藏的完整象鳥蛋不到40顆。）
collection：名詞，收藏品。例句：It was so much bigger than any other eggs in our collection.（在我們的收藏品當中，它比其他所有的蛋都大。）
model：名詞，模型、模特兒。例句：It looked too realistic to be a model.（它看起來真實得不像是個模型。）