DNA has been extracted from the fossilised eggshell of the heaviest bird known to have existed, with the help of an academic from the University of Sheffield. Mike Parker Pearson, a professor at the university's archaeology department, found the eggshells while researching in Madagascar. An international team then discovered well-preserved DNA in the shells of the half-tonne elephant bird, which became extinct in about 1650. Professor Parker Pearson's team had been investigating its extinction, scouring the coastal dunes of the country for remains. A DNA profile will now be produced.