Ostriches on the african savannah. By Andrzej Kubik | Shutterstock.com
Ostriches on the african savannah. By Andrzej Kubik | Shutterstock.com

About common ostriches.

Ostriches are the worlds largest and heaviest living birds, so they cannot fly. But they are fast runners.

It is the world’s fastest two-legged animal and the third of all species, after the cheetah and the pronghorn antelope. They can maintain a speed of 70 km/h (43.5 mph) for up to 30 minutes without stopping.

The egg of an ostrich weighs 1-2 kg (2.2-4.4 lb) and is equal to approximately 24 chicken eggs.

It is the only living bird that secretes urine separately from feces.

Unlike most birds, ostriches have only two toes on each foot.

This animal has a wingspan of around 2 m (6.5 ft). They use them for several things like mating rituals, keeping chicks in the shade, covering the featherless skin of the upper legs, keeping warm and changing direction while running.

Ostriches spend the winter in pairs or alone, but they join other ostriches during the mating season, forming groups led by a female which live together with other animals, like zebras and antelopes.

Only one pair in the group takes care of the chicks of all ostriches. Even pairs with more than 100 chicks have been seen.

Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. They can lay their head flat on the ground in an attempt to be better camouflaged when they feel threatened. From a distance, that can give the appearance that they have buried their heads.

Their legs are a powerful defense mechanism. Armed with strong claws, they can seriously injure their enemies, and their legs can only kick forwards.

Ostrich feathers look like they are made of hair. Unlike most birds’ feathers, they hang loose and separate from one another.

Ostrich fossils have been found and studies show that this animal dates back 50 million years, making it a “living fossil” on earth.

The Ostrich or Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) is either one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa. By Rudmer Zwerver | Shutterstock.com
The Ostrich or Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) is either one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa. By Rudmer Zwerver | Shutterstock.com
Common ostrichLeast Concern
Struthio camelus1.7 – 2.8 m (5 ft 7 in – 9 ft 2 in)
Struthionidae63-145 kg (139–320 lb)
Struthioniformes40 years
Aves39-42 days of incubation.
This species is commonThey are herbivores, but some authors consider them omnivores. They mainly eat flowers and fruits, but also leaves, little animals and even stones that aid their digestion (an adult ostrich can carry 1 kg of stones in its stomach).
They live in semiarid areas with a wide temperature range (from -15 to 40 °C)Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenia, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

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