Malagasy Crowned Eagle

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Malagasy Crowned Eagle
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
(or Accipitriformes, q.v.)
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Stephanoaetus
Species: S. mahery
Binomial name
Stephanoaetus mahery
Goodman, 1994

The Malagasy Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus mahery),1 also known as the Madagascar Crowned Hawk-eagle, was a large bird of prey, comparable in size to the African Crowned Eagle,2 that inhabited Madagascar until 1500 AD.,3 It probably fed on lemurs. The raptor avoidance behaviour exhibited by contemporary lemurs may have originated in part in response to this and another now extinct Malagasy Aquila eagle (extant Malagasy raptors appear to be a threat primarily to juvenile members of the large diurnal lemur species).24

It was perhaps an apex predator of the Malagasy forests along with the Giant Fossa and the two species of crocodile. It likely became extinct due to human overhunting of its prey and possibly was hunted as well.citation needed It has been proposed that this bird, combined with Elephant Bird eggs, are the source of sightings of the Rukh.citation needed

References

  1. ^ Goodman, Steven M. (1994). "Description of a new species of subfossil eagle from Madagascar: Stephanoaetus (Aves: Falconiformes) from the deposits of Ampasambazimba". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington (107): 421–428. 
  2. ^ a b Wright, P. C. (June 1998). "Impact of Predation Risk on the Behaviour of Propithecus diadema edwardsi in the Rain Forest of Madagascar". Behaviour (Brill Publishers) 135 (4): 483–512. JSTOR 4535540. 
  3. ^ Feduccia, A. (1999). The Origin and Evolution of Birds (2nd ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07861-7. 
  4. ^ Goodman, S. M. (1994). "The enigma of antipredator behavior in lemurs: evidence of a large extinct eagle on Madagascar". International Journal of Primatology (Springer) 15 (1): 129–134. doi:10.1007/BF02735238. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 

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