Malagasy crowned eagle

The Malagasy crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus mahery),[1] also known as the Madagascar crowned hawk-eagle, was a large bird of prey. It may have been comparable in average size to the African crowned eagle, but possibly slightly larger, with the largest female weights estimated at up to 7 kg (15 lb), or about the size of a large female golden eagle.[2] It 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).[2][4]

Malagasy crowned eagle
Temporal range: Holocene
Extinct  (1500)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Stephanoaetus
S. mahery
Binomial name
Stephanoaetus mahery
Goodman, 1994

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. It has been proposed that this bird, combined with elephant bird eggs, are the source of sightings of the Roc.[5]

See alsoEdit

  • Haast's eagle, another island eagle species that went extinct after the arrival of humans


  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. doi:10.1163/156853998793066186. 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.
  5. ^ Hume, Julian P.; Walters, Michael (2012). Extinct birds. 217. A & C Black (Poyser Imprint). pp. 81–82. ISBN 978-1-4081-5725-1.

External linksEdit