Definitions for haast's eagle
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Haast's Eagle was a species of eagle that once lived on the South Island of New Zealand, commonly accepted to be the Pouakai of Maori legend. The species was the largest eagle known to have existed. Its prey consisted mainly of moa, gigantic flightless birds that were unable to defend themselves from the striking force and speed of these eagles, which at times reached 80 km/h. This eagle's massive size may have been an evolutionary response to the size of its prey, as both would have been much smaller when they first came to the island, and would have grown larger over time due to lack of competition. Haast's Eagle became extinct around the year 1400, when its major food source, the moa, were hunted to extinction by Maori, and much of its dense-forest habitat was cleared.
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