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Dinosaur of the Day #206 - Haast's Eagle


Artist: John Megahan

In the simplest terms,‭ ‬the Haast’s Eagle is in essence,‭ ‬a giant eagle,‭ ‬and one that focused upon hunting only the largest prey available to prehistoric New Zealand:‭ ‬the large flightless moa birds.‭ ‬Isolated remains and estimates of them suggest that the largest Haast’s Eagles could attain a wingspan of up to three meters long,‭ ‬though a two and a half meter wingspan is more easily established from the majority of known remains.‭ ‬Even with the lower estimate however,‭ ‬the Haast’s Eagle still had a wingspan roughly equivalent to today’s largest eagles such as the Steller Sea Eagle‭ (‬Haliaeetus pelagicus‭)‬,‭ ‬Wedge-tailed Eagle‭ (‬Aquila audax‭) ‬and the Golden Eagle‭ (‬Aquila chrysaetos‭)‬.‭ ‬Where the Haast’s Eagle really wins in size though is by weight.‭ ‬Most modern eagles,‭ ‬including the females which are usually larger than the males,‭ ‬never exceed nine kilograms in weight when living in the wild‭ (‬captive kept eagles are not included in case these are overfed‭)‬.‭ ‬Estimates of male Haast’s eagles however range from nine kilograms all the way up to twelve kilograms,‭ ‬while females could weigh as much as fourteen to even fifteen kilograms.‭ ‬This means that the Haast’s eagle is probably one of if not the heaviest eagle that we know about to ever take to the air.‭ ‬Because of the extra weight,‭ ‬it is believed that a‭ ‬Haast’s eagle would launch itself into the air by jumping up from the ground while flapping.

The Haast’s Eagle was not a bird that was adapted for long range soaring over great open distances,‭ ‬the relative shortness of the wingspan is a clear indication that the Haast’s Eagle was adapted‭ ‬for flight amongst trees and other locations where there was not much room to open up the wings.‭ ‬By proportion the tail has become enlarged to cover a larger surface area,‭ ‬something that would help to create lift in the absence of larger wings.‭ ‬A large tail would also allow for more stable and more manoeuvrable low speed flight,‭ ‬and would have enabled Haast’s Eagles to have had an exceptional ability for tight turns while flying amongst trees.

The Haast’s Eagle is also‭ ‬credited as having larger jaws than most modern eagles,‭ ‬as well as possessing several long talons on the feet.‭ ‬The talons of the Haast’s Eagle are noted as being similar in form to those of the Harpy Eagle‭ (‬Harpia harpyja‭)‬.‭ ‬These talons were between forty-nine to sixty-one and a half millimetres long for the‭ ‬front toes while the talon of the hallux‭ (‬the rear toe that was opposable to the others‭) ‬was up to one hundred and ten millimetres long.‭ ‬It were these talons that would have been the primary killing weapons of an individual eagle.

The Haast’s Eagle was adapted to hunt and kill large prey upon a one on one basis,‭ ‬but the only suitably large prey in New Zealand for such a large predator were the moa.‭ ‬Moa were large flightless birds which are known by several genera,‭ ‬the largest of which of the Dinornis genus‭ ‬could grow up to around three and a half meters tall.‭ ‬These birds inhabited the forests that covered New Zealand during the Pleistocene and Holocene.

As both apex and specialised predators,‭ ‬the future of Haast’s Eagles was certain for as long as there were moa to hunt.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬by‭ ‬1250-1300AD New Zealand had been settled by the first Māori people,‭ ‬and this signalled the end for much of the native and‭ ‬specialised fauna of New Zealand.‭ ‬The first settlers needed to make the land suitable for long term habitation which meant that vast areas of forests began to be cleared,‭ ‬destroying the habitat of many animals.‭ ‬What had a larger impact upon the numbers of Haast’s Eagles however was the active hunting of the moa birds by people.‭ ‬This caused a significant drop in the numbers of moa which meant that quite suddenly there was not enough food to support the population of Haast’s Eagles which then began to decline.‭ ‬This continued all the time as the moa were hunted to extinction,‭ ‬and with the Haast’s Eagles unable to switch to a different food source,‭ ‬they too followed the moa into extinction.

haast's-eagle-and-eyles-harrier-size

Rarity: Epic.
Tier: TBA.
Health: 2400.
Damage: 1200.
Speed: 132.
Critical: 5%
Defence: 0%

Evasive Strike.
Fearless Flap.
Distraction.

Resistant to swap prevention(100%).

Haast’s Eagle is a new creature for the game and until now not one that I had really bothered to look at (although I should as Birds is my next theme team). So at first thought she seems a bit underwhelming for an Epic. Part of that is because two out of three abilities grant her a dodge percentage she’ll never get to use due to the overabundance of Resilient beasts in the game. I really want to like her but I just can’t see her being much use. Hopefully she will get a hybrid and that DNA will be worth something.

I don’t see her as a Raid option either unless we get new lower level bosses and even then I think she wouldn’t be a viable option.

What are your thoughts on this new cenozoic bird? Any ideas on how she could be used in the game?

2 Likes

The only saving grace is the speed. It’s near the lower half of the epic creatures, but in nonhybrid terms, still can be used as miasaur isn’t too great anymore, so not too many instant rampages ruining it’s day. There are better speedsters like ornith, stigy, blue, arctops, and velociraptor

3 Likes

Don’t see the point in using it. It has neither the surviveability nor the damage needed to be viable. Doesn’t really have a role other than being an odd gimmicky creature you only level for its eventual hybrid.

2 Likes

She’s neat, but not that great overall. the fact that she can’t be swap prevented allows it to be decent starting creature if you got nothing else.

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I would be like well just buff it but like…how? These things have like really no role they can honestly fill

Like even when I was coming up for roles for a rework of 2.0 these and the dimorphodons just really had no roles to offer or at least one that way actually viable

Like the eagles could be dodgers, but we already have the ornitomimsaurs for that

They could be distracting focused creatures…but we have the raptors, monolophosaurs, and the amphibians

They could be anti speedsters but we have the birds for that so I have no idea what to do to them

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I love when you knock her out and she lands with her back with her feet sticking up. So hilarious

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I mean it’s an Eagle…who’s idea was to put a freaking eagle :eagle: in game filled with dinosaurs and cool Cenozoic creatures

1 Like

It may have gone extinct only 600 years ago but it dates back to a prehistoric age same as other cenozoic creatures. I don’t see that as a problem (we do need a fair few more dinosaurs though).

2 Likes

Ik but like at least the other have something that separates them from just being generic animals we see today. (Smilodons body and fangs, the deers size and antlers shape, mammoths and rhinos woolly coat, the other rhino’s weird hornes, marsupial lion is carnivorous large marsupial, etc) the eagles brings like nothing…its just a big eagle sure it was big but there is nothing that separates it apart from its modern cousins.

Liken just imagine a Philippine eagle or a Harpy eagle but just a bit bigger and there ya go Haast’s eagle not really that different.
image image

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I can’t believe I’m gonna say this but , ugh, even the freaking Turtles bring more to the tables than these birds

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It’s the fastest creature in the game, but other then that it’s rather underwhelming… Bad health, Meh Attack and only 1x attacks… fearless flap is decent but it’s basically cautious Strike with a Cooldown. It should get distracting Impact…

Oh well we can always hope it gets a good hybrid.

2 Likes