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The HAAST’S EAGLE is the title of a gold coin with the denomination of $50 featuring a bird that once lived in New Zealand. It was the heaviest eagle ever known to have existed, even bigger than today’s vultures, with
large tiger-like talons. It had huge wings which spanned up to 3 m and weighed as much as 15 kg. These extraordinary predators mainly preyed on the moa, a large bird species much heavier than the Haast’s eagle, weighing up to 250 kg! The first settlers of New Zealand, the Maori, arrived in 1280. They hunted flightless birds, including the moa, leading to extinction of the species. As the main food source of Haast’s eagles was hunted to extinction, these amazing predatory birds were doomed to extinction and died out in the 15th century, when the last moa disappeared from the Earth.
In the centre of the coin, there is an image of the HAAST’S EAGLE in relief.
Above, there is a century in which the species became extinct and a map with a marked area of the species occurrence. In the background - a fairy-tale-like landscape of New Zealand.
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