Extinct Eagle May Have Had Taste For Human Flesh, Scientists Say

September 12, 2009

New Zealand (ChattahBox) – A species of eagle that became extinct just over 500 year ago may have eaten human, scientists claim.

The Haast’s eagle, a giant raptor, has long since baffled researchers, not only about it’s date of extinction, but the nature of the eagle itself.

But Paul Scofield of the Canterbury Museum in New Zealand and Ken Ashwell of the University of New South Wales in Australia have collaborated on a study that has solved a few of those mysteries.

The eagle apparently weighed around 40 pounds, and was very fast. It would swoop down on other, smaller birds, and occasionally on humans that were within it’s line of sight.

Despite many researchers believing for years that the Haast’s eagle was a scavenger, this evidence suggests that it was actually a fierce and effective predator.

“This work is a great example of how rapidly evolving medical techniques and equipment can be used to solve ancient medical mysteries,” Ashwell was quoted by Physorg.com.

The study has been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.


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