Do Crowned Eagles Have Teeth?


Do Crowned Eagles Have Teeth?

Crowned eagles, also known as the African crowned eagle or the crowned hawk-eagle, do not have teeth. They belong to the Accipitridae family, which includes eagles, hawks, and kites. The misconception of crowned eagles having teeth may stem from their powerful, sharp talons, which they use to catch and kill their prey.

The Anatomy of Crowned Eagles

Crowned eagles are known for their strength and size, with a wingspan of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) and a body weight of up to 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds) for females and 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) for males. They have the following anatomical features:

Feature Description
Beak Hooked and sharp, used for tearing and ripping prey
Talons Extremely sharp and powerful, used for catching and killing prey
Feet Strong and muscular, with four toes, three facing forward and one facing backward
Eyes Excellent vision, allowing them to spot prey from a distance
Feathers Thick and dense, providing insulation and camouflage

Hunting Techniques of Crowned Eagles

do crowned eagles have teethImage source: crowned eagle

Crowned eagles are known for their hunting prowess, using a combination of stealth, speed, and strength to catch their prey. Their hunting techniques include:

  1. Perching and Waiting: Crowned eagles often perch quietly in a tree, waiting for suitable prey to pass by.
  2. Stooping: When the eagle spots its prey, it drops or stoops onto it from a branch perch, using its sharp talons to kill or immobilize the prey.
  3. Aerial Pursuit: In some cases, the eagle may pursue its prey in the air, using its speed and agility to catch up to the target.
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Prey and Diet of Crowned Eagles

Crowned eagles are apex predators, with a diet consisting of 98% mammals, mainly monkeys and other mammals up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds), such as the Cape hyrax and small antelopes. They are capable of taking down prey weighing up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds).

Conservation Status and Threats

Despite their strength and power, crowned eagles face several threats, including:

  • Habitat loss: Deforestation and habitat degradation due to human activities.
  • Human persecution: Hunting and persecution by humans, often due to perceived threats to livestock or human safety.
  • Collisions with human structures: Collisions with power lines, wind turbines, and other man-made structures.

These threats have led to the crowned eagle being classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.


In conclusion, while crowned eagles do not have teeth, they possess sharp talons that they use to catch and kill their prey. Their strength, power, and hunting techniques make them one of the most formidable birds of prey in Africa. However, they face various threats that have led to their conservation status being classified as Near Threatened.

Wikipedia – Crowned Eagle
FactAnimal – Crowned Eagle
Carnivora – African Crowned Eagle