AN AMAZING FACT: Around the 1600s, early Arabian and Indian explorers began returning from the coast of east Africa with accounts of birds that were twice as tall as a man and three times as big as an ostrich. Naturally, their stories were scoffed at … until they brought evidence: eggs up to three feet in circumference! They were the eggs of an Aepyornis—a giant flightless bird found only on the island of Madagascar. Today the Aepyornis is better known as the elephant bird because of the stories Marco Polo told of a bird so strong that it could lift an elephant.
Though now extinct, the elephant bird was the largest bird that has ever lived. Scientists estimate that it stood 11 feet tall and weighed 900 pounds. By comparison, an exceptionally large ostrich might reach 9 feet and 300 pounds. By the time the French settled in Madagascar in the 1640s, the elephant bird had already become very rare. The last sighting of a live elephant bird was in 1649. The natives’ histories on Madagascar describe the elephant bird as a shy, peaceful giant. It was likely driven to extinction by people raiding its nests for the extraordinary eggs. In fact, its eggs were even bigger than the largest dinosaur eggs. One of the largest intact specimens is 35 inches in circumference around its long axis, and probably had a capacity of more than two gallons. Some biologists have calculated that these eggs were as large as a functional egg possibly could be, meaning the eggs of the extinct elephant birds were the largest single cells to have ever existed on Earth.
Many people thought the elephant bird was just a myth until they saw the undeniable evidence. Unfortunately, in spite of the obvious biblical evidence, some people still think that the devil is a mythical beast with goat hooves and a forked tail. But the Bible makes it clear that the devil is real—and a formidable foe. Peter describes him as a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Yet the devil can be resisted! Peter also warns us to be watchful, vigilant, and steadfast in our faith and promises that eventually “the God of all grace” will “perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle” us (1 Peter 5:9, 10).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9