Skip to comments.Extinct New Zealand eagle may have eaten humans
Posted on 09/12/2009 8:48:07 AM PDT by JoeProBono
Sophisticated computer scans of fossils have helped solve a mystery over the nature of a giant, ancient raptor known as the Haast's eagle which became extinct about 500 years ago, researchers said Friday. The researchers say they have determined that the eagle which lived in the mountains of New Zealand and weighed about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) was a predator and not a mere scavenger as many thought.
Much larger than modern eagles, Haast's eagle would have swooped to prey on flightless birds and possibly even the rare unlucky human.
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
My suspicion is that’s what doomed it to extinction. Those pesky humans just have no sense of humor.
Only 500? Incredible.
Saw this this morning, and saw it on tv awhile ago too- This bird was HUGE- it was able to kill birds larger than ostrachis’ (sp?) by puncturing their skulls with it’s claws- they laid a normal sized eagle’s skull next to one of htese giants, and it was amazing hte size difference. They’ve know about htis bird for a goodl ong time now- not sure why this is ‘news’ now? This giant has always been a threat to humans because of it’s size- I’m sure it did eat humans from time to time- but they’ve known this was a possibility for a logn time now
i wonder if the author has ever seen a golden eagle up close?
i have. I was hiking on the southern ute reservation outside of durango, co., and i will say that it appeared to be close to 40 lbs. i know, i know birds have hollow bones and lots of feathers, but when you see one in the wild up close, you will NEVER forget it.
Of course, they had to be big. How else would they be able to carry a hobbit or a wizard?
I’ve always been conviced that this bird is why 90% of the unique native bird life in NZ evolved to be nocturnal.
Extinct? SOB...Bush’s fault!
A little early to be thinking about drinking, isn’t it?
You keep me in stitches! Where do you find all these cool articles/pics?! LOL
Thanks for the humor breaks.
It probably bit Helen Thomas
Most likely this eagle, also known as the Hobbit Eagle, went extinct when it’s short, hairy-footed prey went extinct.
> My suspicion is that’s what doomed it to extinction. Those pesky humans just have no sense of humor.
Surprisingly, not quite.
The Haast Eagle lived mostly on a large bird (sorta like a huge ostrich) called a Moa. They were plentiful in New Zealand until the Maori arrived about 900-1200 years ago, depending on whose calculation you use.
New Zealand had few abundant sources of meat, except for Moas and Maori. And so, Maori hunted Moas to extinction about 500 years ago. When the Moas were gone, the Maori became cannibals.
And the Haast Eagle, having run out of food, soon died off.
> i wonder if the author has ever seen a golden eagle up close?
I have (Born in BC). The Golden Eagle is indeed a very large bird. And as best anyone can tell, the Haast Eagle would be two or three times as large. If it was killing and eating Moas, it would have to be.
Wow, sounds like good riddance to me. ;')
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
Is it fake?
WOW! What is that picture showing? What bird is that? From where? !!!
When I was stationed at Ft. Riley, KS I had a '66 MGB...tiny little car. During the winter/spring timeframe, a large number of bald eagles drift into the Milford Lake area which is a large man-made lake to the northwest of the installation and eagles are not an uncommon sight during that time of year. One unseasonably warm spring day, I was driving through the backroads of post and saw a huge bald eagle shadowing my car. He followed me all the way off post to the town of Ogden...While I had no reason to believe he'd try to attack, I am fairly certain that he came to that conclusion only after giving me a good sizing up.
Fifteen birds on five fir trees,
Their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze,
But, funny little birds, they had no wings!
O what shall we do with the funny little things?
Roast ‘em alive, or stew them in a pot;
Fry them, boil them and eat them hot?
Love it :-)
Did they taste like chicken?
Which, of course, is why it is extinct.
WOW - where did you find that picture? It almost looks like a Pteradactyl head.
I remember reading a book about Tibet long ago...the author talked about a bird there called a llamergeyer(sp?) He shot one down that was stalking his son and held it up to show the wingspan in relation to a man and a samll child. I thought then that this was the biggest bird I’ve ever seen..until now
Actually I have a hard time accepting the fact that this video is real. Could it be photoshopped?
No information on this photo. It alleges to show hunters from the 1800s, early 1900s, with a large “thunderbird” they have shot.
On a short boat tour operating out of Seward Alaska we saw some goats high on cliffs above the water. The guide said the Bald Eagles would dive on the young goats and scare them into falling off. The remains would be picked off the rocks below.
I have watched Golden Eagles in Western North Carolina mountains but they did not seem that large. Seeing however is believing.
Young eagles were heard to say...”Can I have Moa mama?”
“Only 500? Incredible.”
Only 500 because the Maori were the first humans to arrive, and they arrived relatively late, only 1000 years ago or less. Much like North America, where the arrival of migrating Siberians about 10,000 years ago coincides with the following rapid extinction of large North American mammals.
What’s interesting about New Zealand is that, because NZ was volcanic in origin and geographically remote, birds arrived there first, and then, without any competition, were able to evolve to fill all the ecological niches, i.e., the large grazers, the predators, etc were all some form of bird. So the Haast eagle was the premier predator, hunting the biggest prey — huge flightless grazing birds.
By the way, there was a British explorer-hunter who, when traveling in the NZ mountains during the early days of exploration, casually remarked in a diary that he shot and ate 2 very large birds of prey. Those birds may have been the last 2 birds of the species, or a related predator species.
If he thought he could have taken my car, I'm sure he would have given it the old college try. I'm just saying he took his own sweet time coming to the conclusion that maybe it was just a weeeeee bit too big. There was no doubt in my mind that its wingspan was wider than my car...;-)
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