For most people living in the western world or any relatively urban area, being eaten by an animal sounds like a story you would only read about in Africa. It sounds like a story that would only happen in a horror tale or during a fantasy story. But not so long ago, being eaten by a predator was indeed a reality and not something that could only happen in Africa or other wild jungle areas. In fact for some humans of today, the possibility of being hunted still remains.
The Crowned eagle, for example, is a huge predator of the skies, often nicknamed the raptor of the skies. And until scientist found children skulls in their nests, it was thought there was no bird capable of hunting a human. Surely even a child would be too heavy? But not for the crowned eagle.
African crowned eagles actually specialize in eating monkeys, sometimes monkeys that are much heavier than themselves. Equipped with powerful talons and a fearless bold predator nature, the crowned eagle is the machine of the skies that has every tool needed to hunt large mammals. If you want to know the gory details: the crowned eagle usually solves the weight problem by dismembering its prey on the ground and then carrying them back to the nest in pieces.
It was always thought to be just myths and scary stories that crowned eagles actually hunted humans, a ghost story that grandmothers told their children before going to bed – to keep them tucked in their beds. Yet scientist and biologist researching the African crowned eagle have discovered small skulls in their nests, they even had claw marks on their eyes. And there is even more solid evidence that they definitely hunted humans that are now part of an extinct family tree.
Such a scary thought that you may be happily walking through a park only to be landed on my a giant man-eating eagle.