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Extinct Daggett's Eagle (Buteogallus daggetti) Fact Sheet: Taxonomy & History

Extinct Daggett's Eagle (Buteogallus daggetti)

Taxonomy and Nomenclature

  • Until recently, classified as Wetmoregyps daggetti (Miller 1928)
  • Called the "walking eagle" for its very long slender legs
  • Restudied and assigned to the genus Buteogallus (Olson 2007)
    • Resembles closely the modern Savanna Hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis) but is 40% larger

Evolutionary History

  • There are two major lineages of modern birds: palaeognathae and neognathae (Hackett et al 2008)
    • Palaeognathae birds include the ratites such as the rhea and tinamous
    • The category Neognathae includes all other birds
  • Neognathae birds existed in the Cretaceous, by at least 70 million years ago (Dingus and Rowe 1998)
    • Predatory hawks, falcons, and owls had probably diverged from other neognaths in the Cretaceous (Dingus and Rowe 1998)
  • The Daggett's Eagle became extinct along with several other large predatory birds, like Teratornis, by about 13,000 years ago (Steadman & Martin 1984)


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Falconiformes (diurnal birds of prey; DNA studies say category may need revision)

Family: Accipitridae (hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, Old World vultures)

Genus: Buteogallus

Species: Buteogallus daggetti (Olson, 2007*) - Daggett's Eagle (extinct)

*Described in Ornithological Monographs 63(1):110-114

Page Citations

Hackett et al. (2008)
Miller (1928)
Olson (2007)
teadman & Martin (1984)

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