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Re: New Zealand's Giant Eagle Showed Rapid Size Gain




On Thu, 6 Jan 2005, Ronald Orenstein wrote:

> At 11:07 AM 1/6/2005, John Bois wrote:
> >Forgive me if I misunderstand, but I thought the authors were not talking
> >about _competition_ for the eagle.  Rather, they were saying there were no
> >predators _of_ the eagle.
>
> Well, there are many oceanic islands with endemic hawks that probably lack
> native predators but have not become giants (eg Hawaii, Fiji).  The
> difference in NZ (as I see it) was the presence of large, heavy-bodied
> prey,

Definitely.

> coupled perhaps with climate (I say the latter because, for example,
> there seem to be no giant birds of prey known from places like, say, New
> Caledonia, which also featured at least one large flightless bird).

Is that the giant chicken?  Not as big as moa.  NZ was isolated for a very
long time, allowing for evolution of even greater size, perhaps.  How
would climate affect things? What about the "predation" comment?