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Re: Kickboxing Cassowary

I've seen a pair of wedgies take on a pair of sea eagles.. the sea eagles bugged out pretty much as soon as they could.

Out west, you hear stories of wedge-tails taking adult roos. One version I heard, the eagle gets the roo to 'escape' across open ground, and then repeatedly hits its back and rear, slashing it with the hind claws. I'm not sure if this has ever been documented, though - nowadays, I would expect the eagles to be living off road kill (plenty of that). On one field trip, one of the guys had been for a hike over to some nearby hills and reckoned a wedgie had been checking him out (he's not prone to exaggeration). Not a particularly comforting thought.

Eric's story seems reminiscant of the attitude of our crocs as well - just mean tempered. But at least we don't have to do field work with bears around...

Dann Pigdon wrote:

Maybe they're used to being the largest things in the Australian sky, and don't have any concept of something 'bigger'. I don't think there've been any larger flying animals in Australia for as long as wedge-tails have been in residence (correct me if I'm wrong there).

Wedge-tails regularly patrol the borders of their territories, making a point of being seen by eagles in adjacent territories. Anything large that violates their territorial space (that isn't their mate) may trigger territorial fighting behaviour.

Colin McHenry
Computational Biomechanics Research Group http://www.compbiomech.com/
School of Engineering (Mech Eng)
University of Newcastle
NSW 2308

t: +61 2 4921 8879