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Ancient New Zealand Eagle, a Predator of Humans?

By John Louie S. Ramos     Sep 14, 2009 in Science
A mystery concerning the nature of the extinct giant raptor Haast's eagle was unveiled late last week, using an intricate computer technology.
According to researchers, the eagle which was extinct about 500 years ago, weighted about 40 pounds and had lived in the mountains of New Zealand was a predator and not a mere scavenger as many believed.
The Associated Press reports experts used a sophisticated system, called axial tomography, or CAT, which scanned several skulls, a pelvis and a beak, enhancing the size of the bird's brain, eyes, ears, spinal cord and other body parts.
Paul Scofield of the Canterbury Museum in New Zealand believed that the conclusions on the studies of the eagle were similar to local Maori folk tales, an ancient folklore resembling "a huge bird that could swoop down on people in the mountains and was capable of killing a small child."
"Much larger than modern eagles, Haast's eagle would have swooped to prey on flightless birds — and possibly even the rare unlucky human," AP reports.
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