Malagasy Crowned Eagle [extinct] - Stephanoaetus mahery | The Eagle Directory
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Malagasy Crowned Eagle [extinct] - Stephanoaetus mahery

Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Stephanoaetus
Species: S. mahery

Malagasy Crowned Eagles were large birds of prey that lived in Madagascar until around 1500 CE. They were driven extinct when humans arrived on the island and hunted the eagles' main prey—lemurs—and possibly hunted the eagles themselves. Malagasy Crowned Eagles were the largest raptor on the island during the Quaternary Period and probably an apex predator. Extant lemurs react strongly to the presence of raptors, behavior that may be a remnant of the time period when they were frequently hunted by these eagles.

Taxonomy:

The remaining living member of genus Stephanoaetus is S. coronatus (Crowned Hawk Eagle).

The world mahery comes from a Malagasy word for "powerful".

Other Names:

Madagascar Crowned Hawk Eagle.

Heraldry:

In the stories of Sinbad and A Thousand and One Nights there are references to a large bird called a Rokh, which may have been derived from Stephanoaetus mahery. The Rokh was also mentioned by travelers, including Marco Polo.