Ah, but now, you are dropping to the ground, your slow turtle brain barely able to register the horror as the rocks rush up at you from hundreds of feet below. Congratulations, you have made the acquaintance of a golden eagle:
Rather than bothering to pry the tender tortoise meat from the shell, the eagle simply grabs the whole creature, soars as high as it can and drops it, letting gravity and the rocks below do the shell-shattering work.
For such a badass bird, it seems like an awfully dickish way to hunt. Keep in mind, in Mongolia they use golden eagles to hunt wolves. Not to harass wolves, mind you -- they don't flush out wolves so a guy with a rifle can snipe from a safe distance. No, these raptors will fearlessly dive in, throw down with and kill wild foxes and wolves that can be several times their size (the bird is only 15 pounds, max). The golden eagle pierces the victims heart with its talons, killing them instantly. To get the kill away from the bird, its handler has to distract it with a piece of meat. It's like a fucking shark with wings. One that torments turtles.
"Turtles are small fry, Earl. If we work together, I think we can take down a whole midget."
Oh, and if it finds a mountain goat way up high on a cliff? If video evidence is to be trusted, the eagle will grab it and give it the ol' turtle treatment. WARNING: Do not watch this unless you enjoy seeing innocent animals dropped from great heights and splattered mercilessly upon the rocks below:
The golden eagle, kids. It has strength, speed, keen senses, lightning reflexes ... and it uses them to toss petting-zoo-grade animals over a sheer precipice for the sake of an easy meal.
When you think about it, this really is the perfect bird to symbolize America.