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RE: Ancient raptors likely feasted on early humans
Tommy, maybe you forgot the New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Harpyopsis novaeguineae
(see e.g. http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/eagle6.html for an overview; I
don't know if 'Buteonine or Harpy eagles' are considered a clade, and I'm
surprised they ever were assumed to form a natural group, considering their
There used to be one of these in an aviary at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, in the
mid-70's when I used to spend a lot of time there (I'd walk a few miles to
get there nearly every weekend in 1976, often Saturday and Sunday), and I
always stopped in to spend a few minutes or more with this spectacular and
vocal but rather lonely bird.
Of course New Guinea has no monkeys, but plenty of arboreal possums and tree
kangaroos which are more or less ecological equivalents (and probably taste
similar). If Harpyopsis is really part of the same radiation as 'Harpies'
in the Philippines and Africa, there must have been similar species right
across southern Asia not too long ago. They seem to need really big patches
of forest; it'd be worth looking for those fossils in Borneo and Sumatra.
Dr John D. Scanlon
Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Outback at Isa
19 Marian Street / PO Box 1094
Mount Isa QLD 4825
Ph: 07 4749 1555
Fax: 07 4743 6296
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tommy Tyrberg [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 4:32 AM
> To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Ancient raptors likely feasted on early humans
> I can't understand why he should be in the least surprised by his results.
> The Crowned Eagle is a well-known monkey specialist.
> There are similar species in South America (Harpy Eagle), the Philippines
> (Philippine Eagle) and an extinct species Stephanoaetus mahery (closely
> related to the Crowned Eagle) in Madagascar. They are all very large, very
> powerful birds with particularly well-developed feet. All the three extant
> species are incidentally very highly prized "ticks" for birdwatchers,
> very charismatic birds.
> Oddly enough there is no similar large monkey specialist in the
> region which makes me suspect that there is a large extinct eagle waiting
> to be discovered there.
> Tommy Tyrberg
> At 15:35 2006-08-30, Guy Leahy wrote: