Saturday

Haast's Eagle (Harpagornis moorei) Extinct

Haast's Eagle Facts:
  • Haast's Eagle (Harpagornis moorei), was a massive, now extinct eagle.
  • Once lived on the South Island of New Zealand.
  • Believed to be the largest eagle known to have existed.
  • Picture shows Haast's Eagle attacking Moa (via PLoS).
Haast's Eagle Physical:
  • Haast's Eagles were the largest true raptors.
  • Females - weights of 10–15 kg (22–33 lb).
  • Males - weights of 9–12 kg (20–26 lb).
  • Short wingspan of ~ 2.6–3 metres, possibly because needed to hunt in the dense scrubland & forests.
  • The strong legs and massive flight muscles likely enabled it to take off from a jumping start.
  • The total length up to 1.4 metres in females, & standing height ~ 90 cm.
Haast's Eagle Habits:
  • Preyed on large, flightless bird species, including the moa.
  • In the absence of other large predators the Eagle could have easily monopolised a single large kill.
Haast's Eagle Extinction:
  • Possibly became extinct because of competition with the Māori (who arrived ~ 1,000 years ago) for the limited supply of large flightless birds, which became hunted to extinction.
  • The Haast's Eagle become extinct around 1400 CE.
  • There have been recent reports that the Haast's Eagle may have even preyed on humans.
Image Credit - Public Library of Science (cc)

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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