The ostrich is the largest living bird. This flightless bird is largely found in Africa. You can see them in most countries in Africa. While they cannot fly, they are great runners. This is because of their long and strong legs. They have beautiful feathers. The feathers are smooth, soft, and loose. This makes the birds look shaggy in a great way. If you see brownish-gray feathers, then they belong to a chick or female bird. Males have black and white wings. Females are smaller than males. They weigh about 198 to 242 pounds. Males weigh about 220 to 287 pounds. Here are 5 fascinating facts about the ostrich. Read the post to learn more about this unique bird.
5 Fascinating Facts about The Ostrich
- They lay large eggs
This is one of the fun facts about ostrich eggs. Their eggs are the largest compared to other birds. One egg can be up to 15 cm in length. This egg can be as heavy as 1.4 kg. This can be the size of 18 to 24 eggs of a chicken. But compared to the body size, the ostrich egg is smaller. This is also one of the fun facts about ostrich eggs. Smaller birds lay larger eggs.
- They have big eyes
It is hard not to notice ostrich eyes. When they at you, you will see their beautiful eyes. This is one of the facts about ostrich eyes. They are big than the eyes of any other bird. The eye measures 5 cm. This is from front to back. Is the eye bigger than humans? Five times. Yes, that is right. Their eyes are five times bigger than our eyes. No other animal has such eyes.
Ostriches have long eyelashes. This is among the facts about ostrich eyes. The eyelashes protect the eyes from sand. Ostriches use these eyes to quickly see predators. They can spot a thing that is the size of a dog from 3.5 km during the day. At night, they can see the object at 50 m. These birds stand 2 meters tall. With their big eyes, they enjoy a great view over the bush.
- They move very fast
Ostriches are the heaviest birds. Also, they cannot fly. But they move very fast. They can run up to 70 km/h. This is one of the 5 fascinating facts about the ostrich. It is the fastest speed of any bird on land. Most flying birds cannot reach this speed.
Ostriches can outrun humans in speed. The average human can run about 13 km/h. The fastest human can run about 45 km/h. Compare this to 70 km/h. Ostriches do run very fast. They can take a 5-meter stride when running at a high speed.
- They are omnivores
Mainly, they eat plants. This depends on the available food. They can eat rodents, snakes, lizards, and insects. They have tough intestines. This helps to digest most things. They swallow stones and sand. This helps to grind food. They do not drink a lot of water. This is because they mostly eat plants.
- Males dance to attract females
Breeding is among the 5 fascinating facts about the ostrich. A male ostrich dances great moves to attract a female. He shakes and waves his wings to get the attention of a female. He moves his tail up and down. He then moves toward the female with the wings out. The goal here is to impress her. She may approve, and then mating will occur.
The female will then lay 7 to 10 eggs. The male and female take part in incubating the eggs. This can be 42 to 46 days. Both parents take care of the chicks. Chicks are mature at 3 to 4 years. Ostriches enjoy a long lifespan. They can live up to 40 years.
They are social animals. They live in groups. Mostly, you will find them in flocks. A flock can have a pair, that is, male and female. But it may also have 10 to 100 birds. Each flock has a dominant female. She is the main hen. There is also a dominant male. His main role is to defend a territory.
Mostly, you have heard that these birds bury their heads in the sand. But this is not among the 5 fascinating facts about the ostrich. It is a myth. They do not. They do swallow small stones and sand. This is to help with the grinding of food in the gizzard. But you will not see them burying their head in the ground.
Ostriches face several threats. They have natural predators. Hyenas, leopards, lions, and cheetahs hunt these birds. Jackals and vultures eat their eggs. Ostriches do not run away from any threat. Mostly, they will flop on the ground to hide from a predator. They can also use a kick to attack an enemy. Their foot delivers a very powerful kick. The kick can kill a lion.
Humans are also a threat to ostrich. They cause a loss of habitat. They also hunt the birds for their beautiful feathers, fat, and meat. To conserve them, ostrich farming is being practiced. Organizations have also come together to protect the birds.
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