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Legendary man-eating New Zealand bird 'did exist'

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posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 08:07 AM

The Te Hokioi was described as a huge black-and-white predator with a red crest and yellow-green tinged wingtips, in an account given to Sir George Gray, an early governor of New Zealand.

Scientists now think the stories handed down by word of mouth and depicted in rock drawings refer to Haast's eagle, a raptor that became extinct just 500 years ago. Article

Wow this thing sounds incredible, it was HUGE!

The bird has a wingspan of up to three metres and weighed 18kg. It was twice the size of the largest living eagle and its talons were as big as a tiger's claws.

Imagine living in a world where a bird could swoop down and make off with your child! Walking around armed would be a necessity.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:49 PM
This is pretty neat, there are stories like this from all over the place. I'm glad to see one is finally being given some scientific basis.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 02:12 PM
reply to post by refuse_orders

Thank you for sharing that story. It does remind me of the case of the Thunderbird in Illinois that picked up a boy of about 10 years old.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 05:00 PM
Pretty scary stuff, why is it that large predatory birds are so scary?

maybe its instinctive.

An example of an australopithicus Africanus childs skull was found in the debri pile of an ancient relative to the crowned eagle.

I met someone whos family were some of the first white homesteaders in the rugged coast range of cal.
When he was a child, 1950's, he wasnt allowed to play outside by himself
for fear of being taken by the eagles that preyed upon their sheep.

And as scary as those bird are what about this bad boy

titanis walleri 7ft tall and could run 30 mph

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 07:16 PM

Originally posted by punkinworks
And as scary as those bird are what about this bad boy

titanis walleri 7ft tall and could run 30 mph

Wow now THAT is SCARY!

Maybe the fear of being plucked of the ground (yes i said plucked) and flown away with is why we fear big birds. You wouldn't even see it coming.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 08:04 PM
After reading the discription the first thing that came to my head was a gryphon.

The griffin (griffon or gryphon (see below)) is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 08:07 PM
reply to post by wycky

Me to actually, I didn't want to through that out there though until I had heard what others said.

It sounds like a pretty amazing creature that is for sure!

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 08:44 AM
Haast's Eagle is pretty magnificent.

I'd also like to direct your attention to these guys:

Argentavis magnificens

Argentavis magnificens (literally "magnificent Argentine bird") is the largest flying bird ever discovered. This bird, sometimes called the Giant Teratorn, is an extinct species known (as of 2006) from three sites from the late Miocene (6 million years before present) of central and northwestern Argentina, where a good sample of fossils has been obtained.[1]...

Currently accepted estimates:
Wingspan: 5.8–8 m (19 – 26 ft)
Wing area: nearly 7 m² (75 square ft)
Wing loading: c. 11.5 kg/m²
Length: 3.5 m (11.5 ft)
Height: 1.7–2 m (5.6–6.5 ft)
Weight: 60–80 kg (140–180 lb)

And speaking of New Zealand:

The Giant Moa, extinct by 1500

Dinornis may have been the tallest bird that ever lived, with the females of the largest species standing 3.6 m (12 ft)[citation needed] tall, and one of the most massive, weighing 230–240 kg (510–530 lb)[2] or 278 kg (610 lb)[3] in various estimates.

And a visual: /m72mqx

[edit on 9/15/2009 by ravenshadow13]

posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 09:05 PM
reply to post by refuse_orders

Hmm not sure why they said 'legendary' in that article since we've always known the bird existed since we had the evidence of such thanks to bones and the like...

The main problem is science never really believed they hunted like the Maori said they did but rather they where scavengers due to that whole nostile hood thing.

What I find laughable from a common sense perspective is that given most eagles and hawks catch small prey compared to their body and the prey is easily ripped apart or swallowed whole, with the Haaste eagle hunting Moa it would require the nostril hood simply on the fact that due to the size of their prey they couldn't dismember it and therefore would have to have stuck their head into the carcass to feed, the same way a vulture eats from large carcasses most of the time. Wouldnt in any way preclude the eagle from being an actual hunter, especially considering the complete body difference between a vulture and an eagle, a vulture just cant hunt period, while a giant eagle could.

An example to me of mainstream science not thinking horizontally and just going hey its got a vultures nostril hood... its gotta be a scavenger then

Oh and Ravenshadow13 about that Moa extinct by 1500 ... there is an old audio recording of a confession by an old woman who as a child in the late 1890's saw one and sat almost right behind it while it was on a beach. So they have been seen if her testimony is to be taken as authentic (and theres absolutely no reason not to, considering all things about the case) Moas have been around into at least the start of the last century. The audio is on one of the old Arthur C Clarke Mysterious World episodes...

Moa segment starts around 6:16

Throw in the every few decades sightings of Moa by hikers and the like (which get immediately derided by sceptics), I personally think theres still a couple around, heck if a viable breeding population of Moose can survive in Fiordland and the Milford Sounds and be ignored as 'just stories' by main stream science in my country even with photo and video evidence then so can the odd Moa, and Moehau (our version of Bigfoot) .

Thankfully (if somewhat sadly) the Haast Eagle is long gone... not only would it be a nightmare for people/pets but imagine the ire of dairy farmers loosing cattle to em, that alone would have gotten them wiped out during the early years of European colonization in my country

[edit on 16-9-2009 by BigfootNZ]

posted on Sep, 26 2009 @ 11:03 AM
I've also heard of another bird belonging to that family, though it was much larger and there have been recent sightings (1940s).

I'll add some more information when I find it.

posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 09:08 PM
The Haasts eagle ate Moa (another giant "supposedly" extinct bird) not only did it eat Maori children it sometimes ate adults to!
I have always found this huge, magnificent bird interesting. Just the sheer fact that it was so huge is one thing, being there to see its shadow coming down around you would have been so scary!

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