Daggett's Eagle, Buteogallus daggetti
January 2009

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*How Do We Know This? Like living animals, fossil remains of once-living animals are classified
and grouped according to their relationships to each other and to their ancestors.

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

Describer (Date): Olson 2007 Ornithological Monographs 63(1):110-114

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 (extinct)                                     

Taxonomic History and Nomenclature

*How Do We Know This? Scientists use knowledge of the earth's rocks, global plate tectonic movements,
and the chemical process of fossilization to make sense of fossil distribution patterns and ancient habitats.

(Olson 2007)(Brown 1968)

Prehistoric Habitat:

*How Do We Know This? Careful study of fossil bone or tooth anatomy yields much exact information
about placement and strength of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.
In rare cases, skin, hair, or feather impressions or actual tissue is preserved.
Body weight is more difficult to gauge because fat leaves no impression on the skeleton.

(Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001) (Miller 1915) (Olson 2007)

Estimated Body Weight: 3,000 g ( 6.6 lb) (Olson 2007)
Estimated Total Length: 64 - 90 cm ( 31 in) measured from top of head to tip of tail (Olson 2007) (Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001)
Estimated Wingspan: 169 - 196 cm (71 in) measured as natural spread
Estimated Tail Length: 26 - 32.2 cm (11 in) measured from base to tip

General Description
Plumage Sexual Dimorphism Other Physical Characteristics

*How Do We Know This? Since direct observation of a fossil animal's behavior isn't possible, paleontologists
use comparison and contrast with living animals for guidance. Tracks can sometimes reveal further clues.

(Olson 2007) (Steadman & Martin 1984)

Interspecies Interaction

*How Do We Know This? Clues to fossil mammals' diets come from not only teeth, but also skull
shape, body proportions, from fossil dung and gut contents, from lab analysis of oxygen
isotopes in bone and teeth, and by looking at diets of similar modern animals.

(Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001) (Olson 2007)

*How do We Know This? Isotope studies of elements present fossil bones and tusks in microscopic quantities
give information about timing of reproductive stress, and timing of nursing in mammals. Clues to stages of
development come from tooth replacement patterns and closure of sutures in skull and limb bones.

(Steadman & Martin 1984)

*How do We Know This? Abnormalities in fossils bones may show
evidence of arthritis, cancer, nutritional stress, fractures and more.

Important Web Resources (including where to view fossils in museums):

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