30+ Interesting Facts About Ostriches

Ostrich is the largest living bird on the planet. They are huge flightless birds. Ostriches are seen only in Africa. These birds were seen in Asia Minor and the Middle East in the near past. Hunting is the only cause of extinction of the birds from many parts of the world. The scientific name of the Common ostrich is Struthio camelus. There are only two distinct species of the bird. The other one is the Somali one(Struthio molybdophanes).

Ostriches are knowns as the tallest avifauna. They have a humongous body and strong legs. Males can weigh more than 150 kg. The average height of them is 2.75 meters. They are fast runners. They have well-built two-toed feet. All of the body except for the neck and leg is covered with a thick black feather. Tail feathers are white. They have about a one-meter long neck. The beak is a part of the skull. The eyes of an ostrich are the largest of any bird. They usually eat plantations and invertebrates. Their brain is as large as a walnut. These birds get all their needed water from their food.

They are an important part of the ecosystem of their habitat. Ostrich is a very wide part of African culture and history. There are depictions of them in the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilization art. Oldest proves of human relations with these birds is 60,000 years old. Ostrich Race is a part of modern South African Culture. Here are some more fascinating facts about them:

It is hard to predict exactly when they appeared on Earth. Scientists suggest that modern ostriches may appear 23-20 million years ago.

There are four subspecies of the bird, North African, South African, Masai, and Arabian. Arabian Ostrich went extinct around 1966.

Unlike many other birds they have only 2 toes. Only one of them has a nail.

They can see from a 2-mile distance. The long neck and big eyes give them a visionary advantage.

Ostrich eggs are the largest in size. But in proportion to the hen and egg, they are the smallest.

They can run at a maximum speed of 47 miles per hour. They are officially the fastest bird.

Though they are not aggressive to humans but can be attacking if provoked. They perform powerful kicks if feel threatened.

Ostriches have three stomachs. They are unique about secretes urine separately. No other bird does that.

Allegedly ostriches are fond of salt and they put head under the sand while in danger. Both of them are myths. Mostly they dig to make a nest and that may have caused the popular belief.

Adult ostriches eat about 2.5-kilo food a day. They are omnivores. The food menu includes seeds, roots, plants, small lizards, insects.

They lay more eggs in captivity. In wild, hens lay 12-18 eggs a year. In farm conditions, the number usually exceeds 40.

It takes around 42 days to hatch chicks from ostrich eggs. The mortality rate is very high can go up to 78%.

Courtship behavior among ostriches are common. Males try to attract a female with dance moves. They don't make a loyal pair.

Fewer than 1,50,000 individuals are found in African Savanna. Common ostrich has the largest population share among them.

The eyes of these birds measure 5 centimeters in dia, which is five times of a human eye. They can see colors. The long neck and large eyes help them identify predators and defend themself.

Ostriches don't have vocalizations. But males produce loud boom noise by inflating their necks. This booming resembles the roar of a lion.

Huge eggs of these birds can be of can weigh up to 1.3 kg and usually measures 15 cm in diameter. They taste better than chicken eggs.

There are ostrich farms since 1860, mainly for harvesting feathers. Cawston Ostrich Farm is the oldest ostrich farm in the United States.

The bird is commercially raised for meat, feather, and skin. There are farms in Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, the United States, and Argentina.

In Tanzania people keep ostriches as pets. The bone, meat, and hide are used in different rituals.

Leg bones of these gigantic flightless birds are one of the strongest in the animal kingdom. Many of their bones are solid and have a tube of marrow.

Ostriches usually sleep the highest amount of REM sleeps among birds.

These birds live around 45 years. The longest recorded lifespan is 62 years and 7 months.

Wingspan of an adult ostrich can reach 2 meters. These wings have had 16 primaries, four alular, and 20–23 secondary feathers.

Ostrich's heart is conical in shape. It is bluish red in color and weighs around 172.34 grams.

Red blood cells of these birds are about three times larger than the red blood cells of a human.

They can run long distances. In a single run, they can over distance at 31 miles an hour.

Ostriches can regulate the temperature of their body. They do it by regulating their metabolic heat rate.

These flightless birds don't have sweat glands. They reduce their body temperature by panting.

Early humans used ostrich eggs as water containers. They also hunted the bird for meat and feathers.

On an Egyptian tomb painting Arsinoe II of Egypt is seen riding on an ostrcih.

These amazing birds are one important part of African nature and culture. For thousands of years, we are sharing the planet with them. They are large, huge, and everything big for a bird. These are all we have on ostriches today. Thanks for reading.

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