Got a press release about the exhibit of the World Museum's Great Auk egg from Stephen Guy this week - should be quite interesting and will try to go for a butchers myself at some point, and maybe even get a bit of video for later today.
Under tetradding rules, eggs are presumably evidence of breeding, so will there be a mega red dot for Liverpool city centre soon?
By the way, I pinched the Great Auk image from the web, it's an engraving by John James Audubon and Robert Havell.
Press release from the World Museum (William Brown Street) follows:
GREAT AUK EGG
First public showing Ã¢ÂÂ World Museum Liverpool
A rare egg of the extinct Great Auk - probably the finest in existence Ã¢ÂÂ is on display for the first time at World Museum Liverpool.
The large, finely-marked specimen has been in the museumÃ¢ÂÂs collections for about 150 years and there is no record of it being put on display before.
The slaughter of the flightless Great Auk for its oil, feathers and eggs helped inspire the fledgling conservation movement in Victorian times. The Great Auk stands with the Dodo and Passenger Pigeon as a symbol of human exploitation of wildlife.
The Great Auk once existed in countless thousands on both sides of the Atlantic including Scotland, the Isle of Man and Ireland. They became rarer and rarer until the last breeding pair was spotted by three sailors on a rocky outcrop on the Island of Eldey, off Iceland, in 1844.
The men climbed up and, in an act of senseless brutality, strangled the birds and smashed the egg.
It is generally accepted that the last Great Auk to be seen alive was a solitary individual in Newfoundland in 1852. Since then, despite many false alarms, there have been no confirmed sightings.
Above: Clem Fisher with a replica of the egg. Below: The real McCoy.
Clem Fisher, the museumÃ¢ÂÂs curator of vertebrate zoology, says: Ã¢ÂÂThis egg was collected long ago when nature conservation was virtually unknown. It reminds us that whole species can disappear in this way. This particular egg has probably the most interesting and beautiful markings of all the 75 eggs which are known to exist in the world.Ã¢Â?
For a video report from Echo picture editor, Richard Williams, click here.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...