Watch young David Attenborough try to piece together a massive broken egg shell (given to him by locals) in this 1961 clip from Zoo Quest to Madagascar: The Elephant Bird Egg.

The Elephant Bird was a large, ostrich or emu-like, flightless bird that lived on the island of Madagascar until its extinction, likely in the 17th or 18th century. How tall was it? From Wikipedia

Aepyornis, believed to have been more than 3 m (10 ft) tall and weighing close to 400 kg (880 lb), was at the time the world’s largest bird. Remains of Aepyornis adults and eggs have been found; in some cases the eggs have a circumference of more than 1 m (3 ft 3 in) and a length up to 34 cm (13 in). The egg volume is about 160 times greater than that of a chicken egg.

Below, Sir David visits the Elephant Bird’s skeleton in a museum in the capital city of Antananarivo:

In the archives, Madagascar’s Giraffe Weevilweaver birds weaving and dancing Clark’s Grebes.

This magnetically-controlled micro-robot is in charge of gluing things. That magnetically-controlled micro-robot is in charge of placing carbon rods. Together they might build a small yet strong tiny truss that can hold 1kg (2.2lbs). Sounds like cool robot news, right?

How does 1,000 of these micro-robots working together sound? According to SRI International and DARPA, it sounds (and has been proven) possible. It’s called DiaMagnetic Micro Manipulation. Via re/code

The research powerhouse says the bots can construct lightweight, high-strength structures; handle tiny electrical components; carry out chemistry on a chip; and perform many other manufacturing tasks. Eventually, they expect that the machines, the smallest of which are no thicker than a dime, will even be able to build smaller versions of themselves.

“The vision is to have an army of ants under your control,” said Annjoe Wong-Foy, senior research engineer at the Menlo Park, Calif., institute.

File this under Swarm RoboticsHow does it work? Highly-localized magnetic fields help drive the robots speedily over circuit board surfaces so that they can accomplish their individual tasks.

What would you build with micro-robots?

In the archives: Flight Assembled Architecturea swarm of nano quadrotors, and all kinds of swarms. And for extra fun: Micromachines.

via @themexican.

Swim in a reef off the coast of Thailand’s Ko Phi Phi Ley where critically endangered Hawksbill turtles have a stronger population than in most places. Earth Touch cameraman Stewart Whitfield narrates his underwater adventure, observing glass fish, a flatworm, java rabbitfish, long-fin bannerfish, and this Hawksbill turtle as it snacks on a jellyfish.

In the archives: videos of more turtles and more jellies.

The Egg Painter, a beautiful profile of Elena Craciunescu and the traditional Easter egg painting that she skillfully enjoys in a small village in Romania’s northern region of Bukovina. Filmed by Prague-based Titus-Armand.

A friend of ours just recently learned how to create eggs like these. In Ukrainian, the folk art is called Pysanky, from the word pysanka and the verb pysaty, meaning to write. In this case, the writing is in beeswax, similar to batik. It’s a traditional art form in many countries across Eastern Europe.

You can read more at NPR’s The Salt, see more examples at Katya Trischuk’s Etsy Shop, and yay! There’s a DIY at Instructables.

In the archives: more eggs and a few more cultural traditions.

via @Colossal.