According to legend, the roc was a giant bird large and strong enough to carry an elephant in its claws. As incredible as it may seem, long ago people believed this bird of prey was real. Famous explorers like Marco Polo described the roc from travelers' tales. One source of these tales may have been an actual bird--the now extinct Aepyornis, a 10-foot tall bird that lived on Madagascar.

Image credits: main image, AMNH/Sean Murtha; Laurel Kendall: courtesy of AMNH.