The wonderful and curious Emu

The Emu, one of Australia’s most famous creatures, is a really remarkable animal.

It has remained pretty much unchanged for about 80 million years, as convictcreations put it, the Emu walked the plains alongside dinosaurs, and they knew their land when it was one huge rainforest.

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An ancient, flightless bird with soft feathers, a long neck and strong legs, it is the second-largest living bird by height, after the ostrich. The adult Emu can reach up to 1.9 m (6.2 ft) and sprint at 50 km/h (30 mph). Emus have a quite varied diet, they will enjoy fruit, grains, flowers, tender shoots, insects, mice, grubs, and even other animal’s droppings; although they have been known to fast for weeks, fact is they are ready to cover hundreds of kilometres in search of sustenance. They need daily hydration but their bodies manage the water they drink quite efficiently. They are powerful swimmers, too! They enjoy water so much thedodo posted images of an Emu rolling on its back like a dog as it played around a sprinkler.

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 10000birds put together a rich compilation of Emu facts, among which you can see how they dance.

Emu eggshells are green and very big. It is common for females to fight for a mate, maybe because males do the incubation, which is a demanding task, he hardly eats or drinks and loses a significant amount of weight during this eight week process and, on top of that, the young are nurtured by their fathers. Then, this leaves females free to mate several times and lay several clutches of eggs in one season. Young Emus reach full size after around six months, but can remain as a family unit until the next breeding season. Wikipedia has a lot of information on this wonderful animal.

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The emu is an important cultural icon of Australia, appearing on the coat of arms and various coins, and this appreciation of the bird dates back beyond memory, as it prominently features in Indigenous Australian mythology.

 

Moreover, The Emu and Kangaroo are two animals who cannot walk backwards. As a metaphor of the great Australian trait to leave baggage in the past and look optimistically to the future, and this is why the two hold the shield on the Australian Coat of Arms.