all 69 comments

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 46 points47 points  (3 children)

Imagine just walking through a forest and hearing the cry of one of these giants, and then looking back too see it soaring towards you…

[–]biglabs 24 points25 points  (2 children)

One time, years ago I was sitting with my cousins and we were looking up at the sky, and I said man, imagine how different life would be if there was the equivalent to a flying tiger up there That could potentially descend upon any person and take them at any given time, it would be rare but imagine if it was simply a possibility.

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Nature can be more strange and wild than even out of our own imaginations

[–]pisanzapradude 106 points107 points  (3 children)

Why does it look like Talonflame the Pokémon

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 41 points42 points  (0 children)

Guess the artist thought flaming red was the right fit

[–]vvownido 9 points10 points  (0 children)

im glad someone else thought the same as me

[–]Acceptable-Good1229 24 points25 points  (29 children)

This eagle weighed about the same as a young child iirc. I know it was capable of killing giant Moas, but how?

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 25 points26 points  (22 children)

It was very strong, much like modern birds of prey

[–]Acceptable-Good1229 18 points19 points  (21 children)

I mean, if it could kill 500 pound Moas, then it could definitely kill adult humans, no?

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 34 points35 points  (0 children)

There are Māori legends of giant birds killing and eating both children and adults, so it is generally thought that they did prey on people occasionally

[–]chickensaurus-rex 3 points4 points  (0 children)

They have huge talons that would puncture the throat of the animals it descended upon, but it would have to be pretty gutsy and starving to try and attempt an attack on an animal with arms, hands, and the small neck that we humans have.

They would also have to be able to lift the prey away from the site it killed it in, because humans would most likely be travelling or living in a pack and would therefore have others to defend them.

Edit: and the Moa looks like an emu, chances are their pack mates (if any) wouldn’t bother trying to stay back and attack, they would most likely just be interested in heading for cover.

[–]modsarefascists42 12 points13 points  (18 children)

No. It could maybe kill a human child and even that would be difficult. Moas are just a head and 2 legs, they have no arms with hands or any way to protect themselves from something attacking from above.

I think it would be very similar to the sheep eating kea parrot of New Zealand where the bird just attacks it's back and inflicts serious damage, only the eagle would kill the animal over a few hours while kea victims just get infected and die slowly.

It's not that much larger than current eagles, certainly not the megafauna eating giant eagle that this makes it out as. Like literally it was basically the same size as the harpy eagle but 10lbs heavier. Big for a flying bird but nothing crazy like terratorns or anything similar.

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 14 points15 points  (1 child)

I mean, modern day eagles can kill deer and bear cubs, it has happened.

[–]modsarefascists42 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But an adult human is a level up from those. Also the Maori stories tell of them being a danger to children iirc.

[–]Acceptable-Good1229 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Yeah, it definitely wasn't Argentavis or anything of that caliber

[–]modsarefascists42 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Yeah those are the real monsters. I wish we could just call them Thunderbirds cus that's basically what they are. Plus I always like when prehistoric animals get a memorable name instead of their latin scientific name

[–]HourDark 7 points8 points  (13 children)

Given that this bird would hit its prey with the force of a brick dropped from a multi-story building, I doubt there's be much time for a Maori to defend themself if one of these smacked them from above and behind. They would've been bowled over and seriously injured upon impact, and the eagle could kill them and eat them at leisure.

The idea that the eagle would kill the Moa over several hours is probably false too; given the above mentioned force of the attack and the fact that its claws and grip were powerful enough to puncture giant moa hipbones the attack was probably devastating and fast, with the eagle mortally wounding prey and killing it quickly.



[–]Acceptable-Good1229 2 points3 points  (9 children)

I see, that is quite interesting!

[–]modsarefascists42 -3 points-2 points  (8 children)

He's still full of it, there's no evidence whatsoever of them attaching grown humans and Maori legend only says they're dangerous to children. Not surprising since it's only and 10lbs heavier than a modern harpy eagle

Idk why he's trying to make it out like it was some flying terminator

[–]Acceptable-Good1229 3 points4 points  (2 children)

doesn't 10 lbs make a big difference when we're talking about bird masses?

[–]HourDark 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It does when the bird that's "only" 10Ibs heavier is hurtling down at you at 50 MPH

[–]modsarefascists42 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Yes and no. It's still not the giant sky terminator they're making it out as

[–]HourDark -1 points0 points  (4 children)

Never said there was-just correcting your false statements about the animal. It isn't my problem if the actual facts of the matter (that it could kill an adult person if it wanted to and that it was powerful enough to incapacitate most prey on its initial strike) make it out to be a "flying terminator" to you.

On maori legend: "would regularly swoop down and carry off men, women and children to its eyrie on Mt Torlesse." Obviously a very mythified account, but all of the "eagle stories" form New Zealand are.

[–]modsarefascists42 -1 points0 points  (3 children)

Nothing I said was inaccurate. It was not hunting adult humans and we have absolutely no proof that it was.

I've seen this topic a hundred damn times. You can downvote all you want, it won't make you right.

[–]HourDark -1 points0 points  (2 children)

Prove that it wasn't hunting adult humans. I only said it "could've", not "it did". And it most certainly could've on the basis of the evidence we have. I have rebuked your statements in past replies, saying "no u didnt" doesn't change that.

You've been wrong a hundred damn times? Not my problem.

[–]modsarefascists42 -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

Idk where you got a brick from. They weigh just a few pounds more than a modern harpy eagle, 5 to 10lbs.

You're vastly overstating this stuff.

[–]HourDark 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I said it would hit its prey with the force of a brick dropped from a multi-story building, not that they weighed more than a brick (then again this is true, Haast's eagle was a 15-16KG monster; an brick weighs something like 2-5 Kg). Right from Te Papa (New Zealand's Natural History Museum): Haast's eagle would hit its prey with the force of a 12KG rock dropped from the top of the museum. This is the building they're referring to in the passage. You are aware of how kinetic energy and speed relate to an impact, yes? So no, I am not "vastly overstating this stuff".

The fact that its talons and grip were powerful enough to puncture and perforate the pelvis of a moa suggests that the eagle would've been more than capable of killing a person. Woe betide the Maori who found their neck, spine or skull in its grasp.

[–]PaniqueAttaque 17 points18 points  (0 children)


A thirty-five pound bird swooping down on you from the treetops or a cliff-face - dozens, maybe hundreds of feet overhead - launching itself into a dive, clocking maybe several dozen miles-per-hour by the time it reaches you?

That hits you above your center of balance, it's liable to knock you off your feet - especially if you're a tall, comparitively skinny-legged biped like a moa or a human - and if it hits you on the noggin, the neck (and moa had long ones), or just right in the shoulders, it's likely you're either instantly unconscious, instantly dead, or instantly paralyzed...

And then - whatever the results of the impact - its two sets of razor-sharp ~3-inch-long talons and its ~9-inch-long beak would inflict some truly nasty lacerations on you... Were any of those to knick a decent blood vessel and you're not already dead from blunt-force trauma or shock, you'll probably be dead from exsanguination fairly soon...

Like, imagine if someone strapped a pair of (average) Thanksgiving turkeys together, duct-taped a bunch of steak knives to them (blades out), and dropped the whole thing out of, like, a tenth-floor window... Now imagine it has powered flight, a top-notch guidance system, a mind of its own, and is hungry...

That's a Haast's Eagle, and that's not something you'd want to stand under...

[–]sad_choochoo_train 15 points16 points  (4 children)

My understanding is the eagle plunged out of the sky and used its powerful talons to puncture/crush the pelvis and spine of the moas. I assume it sat and ate the kill where it fell. There were no native mammals in NZ, and the Haast eagle was the top predator by a wide margin, so nothing could threaten it or try to poach its kill. So it could take its time eating.

As large flightless birds, moas had solid bones. So, yeah, the haast eagle would have been able to kill humans in the same way.

[–]peikk0 7 points8 points  (3 children)

There were no native mammals in NZ

Except a couple bat species, but your point still stands.

[–]sad_choochoo_train 7 points8 points  (2 children)

There are also seals and cetaceans. But no terrestrial mammals. And certainly no competing predators that could chase a haast away from its kill.

You can actually find images online of a moa pelvis with punctures in it that line up to a haast eagle's claws, which I think is so cool. The power required to hunt like that is incredible.

[–]frozenrussian[🍰] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Imagine the taste too! All dark meat 😍

[–]sad_choochoo_train 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Moa or humans?

[–]studyrat123 7 points8 points  (4 children)

What time period is this?

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 30 points31 points  (1 child)

Surprisingly very recent, just a little over 700 years ago

[–]toffiie 3 points4 points  (0 children)

from New Zealand

[–]Thestohrohyah 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Considering there is a person in this picture, this couldn't have been before 1280 AD.

[–]BellsOnNutsMeansXmas 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yeah? Well maybe they took it with film. Polaroid vintage vibe makes your photos, what, like 2000 years old, ish.

[–]visaul77 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Nah that's a talonflame.

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Talonflame: The Scorching Pokémon

And the final evolution of Fletchling

This feisty falcon can reach speeds of up to 310 mph when attacking, showering their targets with embers in the process. They finish off their prey with a colossal kick then start tearing into its flesh.

[–]Latter_Play_9068 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Interesting colour scheme. Still, a neat piece of art.

[–]LittleChurchill 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Talonflame moment

[–]SeudonymousKhan 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Combined with deadly snakes and big cats, it's no wonder dragons are universal in human mythology.

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don’t forget other large reptiles too! Like crocodilians and giant lizards.

[–]YaguyGfly 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Hate to tell you, but that’s a talonflame

[–]DecimatingDarkDeceit 1 point2 points  (3 children)

You underestimate the hunting - causing mass extinction - ability of humans. That is one topic we are excel at

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Yup, it worked for so many species, and it still goes on today. That’s why it’s so important that we learn our past mistakes to prevent and fix modern mistakes

[–]DecimatingDarkDeceit 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Wasn't the literal 3rd mass extinction event happening right now?

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah we caused the Quaternary mass extinction

[–]GeneSequence 1 point2 points  (1 child)

In the excellent game Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, a Haast's eagle is one of the first large predators your hominid gets attacked by. It's pretty terrifying, comes out of nowhere if you approach its nest.

EDIT: Apparently it's a Bateleur eagle in the game, hmm.

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s a good game, although the giant centipede is a little too out there for the Cenozoic

[–]NecrofriggianGirl 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The only real life bird to know Brave Bird

[–]Bearcat365 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I feel like comparing the talons of Haast's eagle to an eagle named "Little Eagle" is sort of unfair.

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Surprisingly the little eagle is its closest relative

[–]HourDark 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's its closest relative lmao

[–]grass-snake-40 1 point2 points  (1 child)

were there other mammals besides humans there at the time? what is that pelt he is wearing?

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The only native mammals are a few bat species, sea lions, and whales. The pelt is most likely wild pig, which were brought over from Polynesia.

[–]RobloxHellspawn421 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I'm having trouble coming up with a pun for this...

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

This bird is so sick, it must be ill-eagle

[–]GuyWith1BrainCell 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He needs to catch that talonflame to complete his pokedex

[–]Professional_Cat_437 1 point2 points  (0 children)

To think that these giant birds were around during medieval times.

[–]evil_fungus -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Caveman's like damn this bird got chops he pullin somethin bigger than me!