Man-eating eagles terrorize New Zealand


The people of New Zealand are just like Americans and Australians except they have funny accents and carabiner toes. Scientists speculate that they evolved their unique toes centuries ago to avoid plucked from the landscape by giant man-eating eagles. For real:

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.

If I am ever swooped down upon by a giant man-eating eagle, I hope I have the presence of mind to make the best of it. I would wave and smile to my family and friends as the eagle carried me away to its mountainside redoubt. “Wow, he tamed a giant eagle!” they’d say. “From now on, we’ll call him Pax The Eagle Tamer (Chewbacka) Arcana!” Then my severed hand would fall on the ground. “Ewww,” they’d all say.

Extinct New Zealand eagle may have eaten humans [Globe]



Filed under science

3 responses to “Man-eating eagles terrorize New Zealand

  1. Perry Ellis

    How could a 40-pound eagle cart of 230 lbs. of Viking pound-, er, beefcake, anyway?

    The best part about your fellow Scandinavian’s new moniker is that he mis-spelled Chewbacca. Awesome.

  2. I’ve been wondering about the physics of a man-killing eagle, too. Obviously a 40 pound bird would be HUGE, but would it really be able to cart off a human — even a small one? This is like that laden/unladen swallow bit from Monty Python.

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