Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

And we complain about Gnats?!!

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
red clay View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
Tomato Master Emeritus

Joined: 14-Jan-2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 10106
  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: And we complain about Gnats?!!
    Posted: 12-Sep-2009 at 05:54
Can you imagine having to live day to day with something like this ever present.
 

Extinct New Zealand eagle may have eaten humans

By MICHAEL CASEY, AP Environmental Writer Michael Casey, Ap Environmental Writer Fri Sep 11, ANGKOK – Sophisticated computer scans of fossils have helped solve a mystery over the nature of a giant, ancient raptor known as the Haast's eagle which became extinct about 500 years ago, researchers said Friday. The researchers say they have determined that the eagle — which lived in the mountains of New Zealand and weighed about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) — was a predator and not a mere scavenger as many thought.

Much larger than modern eagles, Haast's eagle would have swooped to prey on flightless birds — and possibly even the rare unlucky human.

Ken Ashwell of the University of New South Wales in Australia and Paul Scofield of the Canterbury Museum in New Zealand wrote their conclusions in the peer-reviewed Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Using computed axial tomography, or CAT, the researchers scanned several skulls, a pelvis and a beak in an effort to reconstruct the size of the bird's brain, eyes, ears and spinal cord.

They compared their data on the Haast's eagle to characteristics of modern predator birds and scavenger birds to determine that the bird was a fearsome predator that ate the flightless moa birds and even humans.

The researchers also determined the eagle quickly evolved from a much smaller ancestor, with the body growing much more quickly than the brain. They believe its body grew 10 times bigger during the early to middle Pleistocene period, 700,000 to 1.8 million years ago.

"This work is a great example of how rapidly evolving medical techniques and equipment can be used to solve ancient medical mysteries," Ashwell said.

Because fossils are so fragile and most of the species were never seen by humans, CAT scans allow researchers to closely examine body parts of the long-extinct animals to learn about their behavior, Scofield said.

"The fossils are very valuable and you can't just cut into the skull to look at the brain," he said. "So by using nondestructive techniques, you can get a much better idea of the neurobiology of these animals."

Scientists believe the Haast's eagle became extinct about 500 years ago, most likely due to habitat destruction and the extinction of its prey species at the hands of early Polynesian settlers. Before the humans colonized New Zealand about 750 years ago, the largest inhabitants were birds like the Haast's eagle and the moa.

Scofield said the findings are similar to what he found in Maori folk tales. "The science supports Maori mythology of the legendary pouakai or hokioi, a huge bird that could swoop down on people in the mountains and was capable of killing a small child," he said.

Back to Top
opuslola View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
suspended

Joined: 23-Sep-2009
Location: Long Beach, MS,
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4621
  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2010 at 13:05
Red, nice article! It seems I do not know everything after all! Laugh!

Interestingly, in parts of S. Alabama and along the Florida pan-handle, the locals seem to call gnats "no-see-ums!" chuckle!
http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.125 seconds.