Tuesday, December 18, 2012
HOLY CRAP - Golden Eagle Snatches Kid Video (FAKE)
A Golden Eagle swoops down in a park in Montréal Canada and tries to fly off with a toddler. Hats off to the cameraman who actually rushes to the child's aid instead of worrying whether or not he made Tosh.0 (which I am pretty sure this will, along with Good Morning America and the rest of the morning show and talk shows. LMAO.
The talons of this species exert an estimated 440 pounds per
square inch (3 MPa) of pressure, though the largest individuals
may reach a pressure of 750 psi (5.2 MPa), around 15 times
more pressure than is exerted by the human hand.
The Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas. Despite being extirpated from or uncommon in some its former range, the species is still fairly ubiquitous, being present in Eurasia, North America, and parts of Africa. The highest density of nesting Golden Eagles in the world lies in southern Alameda County, California. These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks.
Golden Eagles use their agility and speed combined with extremely powerful talons to snatch up a variety of prey, including rabbits, marmots, ground squirrels, and large mammals such as foxes and young ungulates. They will also eat carrion if live prey is scarce, as well as reptiles. Birds, including large species up to the size of swans and cranes have also been recorded as prey. For centuries, this species has been one of the most highly regarded birds used in falconry, with the Eurasian subspecies having been used to hunt and kill unnatural, dangerous prey such as Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) in some native communities. Due to their hunting prowess, the Golden Eagle is regarded with great mystic reverence in some ancient, tribal cultures.
Golden Eagles maintain territories that may be as large as 155 km2 (60 sq mi). They are monogamous and may remain together for several years or possibly for life. Golden Eagles nest in high places including cliffs, trees, or human structures such as telephone poles. They build huge nests to which they may return for several breeding years. Females lay from one to four eggs, and both parents incubate them for 40 to 45 days. Typically, one or two young survive to fledge in about three months.
The Golden Eagle is one of the most powerful predators in the avian world. They usually hunt by flying slowly while scanning the environment in a low quartering flight, often around mountainous slopes. When prey is spotted, the eagle makes a short dash hoping to surprise its prey or engages in a longer rapid chase. They also hunt by flying in a fast glide or soar followed by a sudden stoop. Rarely, they may also still-hunt, watching for prey from an elevated perch and then pouncing down when it is spotted. Given that their favorite prey are often mammals or birds that hesitate to fly, unsurprisingly most of their prey is killed on the ground and some prey may even pursued on foot for a short distance by the eagle. When hunting birds, they may engage in an agile tail-chase (much in the style of the Accipiter hawks) and can occasionally snatch birds in mid-flight. The powerful talons of the Golden Eagle ensure that few prey can escape them once contact is made. The talons of this species exert an estimated 440 pounds per square inch (3 MPa) of pressure, though the largest individuals may reach a pressure of 750 psi (5.2 MPa), around 15 times more pressure than is exerted by the human hand.
While they do show strong local preferences for certain prey, Golden Eagles are first and foremost opportunists and virtually any small to mid-sized animal may be predated if encountered. Nearly 200 species of mammal and bird have been recorded as golden eagle prey. Prey selection is largely determined by the local availability and abundance of the prey species. Most prey taken are around half the weight of the predating eagle, with a typical prey weight range of 0.5–4 kg (1.1–8.8 lb), though this eagle will sometimes fly with prey equal to or slightly heavier than its own weight (4–7 kg (8.8–15 lb)).
In North America and most of Europe, the predominant prey are leporids (hares and rabbits) and sciurids (ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and marmots). In one North American study, mammals comprised 83.9% of the eagles' diet. In Washington, the Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) was eaten significantly more than other species, while in Great Britain and central and alpine Eurasia, the Mountain Hare (Lepus timidus) was taken far more than any other species. On the Swedish island Gotland, the preferred prey of the Golden Eagle are hedgehogs, which are peeled of their prickly backs before being eaten. Additional mammals regularly taken include smaller rodents, such as mice and voles, mid-sized mammals such as foxes and the offspring of ungulates such as deer, antelope, ibex, goats and sheep. At the breeding ground of the Caribou (Rangifer tarandus), this eagle is one of the most frequent predators of newborn or young calves. Domesticated types of ungulate young are taken as well. For juvenile eagles, wintering eagles or eagles that have failed to breed, being able to carry off prey is less important than it is for those who are nesting and such birds are more likely to take large prey that can be left and returned to repeatedly feed on. Wild eagles have exceptionally taken ungulate prey in such circumstances weighing 30 kg (66 lb) or even more, such as adult Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus). Recent cases in which Golden Eagle were caught on film attacking unusual, large prey have included an unsuccessful attack on a large adult White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and a successful attack on an adult male Coyote (Canis latrans). YouTube videos show trained Golden Eagles in Mongolia working alone, or in tandem, to take down wolves and foxes there, though the prey animals in this display may be already disabled. There are no known instances of wild eagles predating adult wolves and, in falconry, almost all reported of trained killing of wolves are anecdotal. Other videos show goats being dragged off cliffs to their deaths before being fed upon, and in one case being carried fully away by the leg, though the animals appear to be juveniles. There are also numerous eye-witness accounts in Europe of sheep being carried off; again, these may be younger, lighter-weight animals. There is one confirmed report of a Golden Eagle snatching the cub of a Brown Bear (Ursus arctos). In December 2012, a video was posted to the Internet that appears to show a Golden Eagle attempting to carry off a small human child. The failed attack occurred in Montreal.
After mammals, the secondary important prey group for Golden Eagles are other birds. Various gallinaceous birds (largely phasianids and grouse) are the most significant avian prey. However, virtually any bird, from the size of a lark or a pipit to a crane or a swan, about double the weight of an eagle, is potential prey. In Sweden, birds were found to be the primary prey, with the most common prey species being the Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus); while in sub-Arctic regions a strong preference for Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) has been noted. Golden Eagles are avian apex predators, meaning a healthy adult is not preyed upon. There are records of Golden Eagles killing and eating other large raptors such as Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus), Northern Goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), and Buteo hawks, whether adults, nestlings or eggs. Falcons, skuas, and Buteos like Rough-legged Hawks (B. lagopus), which are normally fierce competitors with each other, have worked together to group-mob Golden Eagles that have passed their adjacent nesting areas. In one instance, a Golden Eagle flying in towards a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) nest was struck and killed by a swooping parent falcon, a reversal of fortune for the falcon given that the much larger eagle is usually dominant over (and a potential predator of) them. Large owls, such as those in the Bubo genus, may be killed by these eagles but usually avoid direct conflicts by being nocturnal in activity rather than diurnal. More commonly, Golden Eagles kleptoparasitize, or steal prey, from other raptors. While not as large as some vultures, Golden Eagles are usually considerably more aggressive and are capable of driving vultures (including much larger-bodied species) and other raptors from carrion or kills. Interspecies competition occurs regularly with large Haliaeetus eagles, principally White-tailed (H. albicilla) and Bald Eagles (H. leucocephalus). Although these other eagles (which are actually not closely related to the Golden) are generally less active predators, they are of comparable size, strength and tenacity to the Golden Eagle and victory in such conflicts depends on the size and disposition of individual eagle rather than on species.
Numerous other types of prey may supplement the diet. Reptiles are rarely taken over most of the range but prey such as large snakes and lizards appears to be fairly common in the southern reaches of its Asian range, as well as in Japan and in desert-like regions of central Eurasia. In southeastern Europe, Turkmenistan and other arid regions, tortoises are a favored prey item. Tortoises are dispatched using the same method employed by the Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus), which consists of flying with the bulky reptile and dropping it from some height onto rocks or other hard surfaces so the shell will crack open and its flesh can be eaten. Other secondary prey items may include amphibians, fish (which are eaten regularly in Southeast Asia but are usually scavenged) and even insects such as large beetles. During winter months, when live-caught prey can be scarce, Golden Eagles often scavenge on carrion. -Wikipedia