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Ostrich

The ostrich is the largest bird in the world and survival is dependant on that it can escape predators by running away from the danger. Also their eggs are the largest from any bird and an egg from an ostrich female is as big as two dozens of eggs from an ordinary hen!

Threat category according to IUCN
  • Least
    concern
  • Near
    threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically
    endangered
  • Utdöd
  • Class Birds (Aves)
  • Order Ostriches (Struthioniformes)
  • Family Ostriches (Struthionidae)
  • Genus Struthio
  • Species Struthio camelus
Size

Height is about 2,5 m, weight is 100–150 kg. The ostrich is the largest and heaviest living bird. The wings are quite large but the bird’s weight makes it impossible for any kind of flight.

Ecology

The ostrich is found on the African savannah and is spread over many African countries.

Food habits

Ostriches eat grass, seeds, insects, small mammals and birds’ eggs as well as chicks.

Life

Ostriches can live for 30–40 years in the wild, in the zoo up to 50 years.

Threat category

In some countries ostriches are bred and farmed and the species is not currently threatened in the wild, although the numbers in recent years has steadily decreased and are close to reach the conservation status ”Vulnerable”.

Reproduction

Each ostrich male mate normally with three to four females.The ostrich male form a pair together with a female, but other females do also lay their eggs in a nest prepared by the male. The female lays six to twelve eggs, which hatch in about six weeks. Although the eggs are added at different times they are hatched at about the same time. One explanation to this is that chicks can have a possibility to signal each other already when still inside the egg some time before hatching.

Did you know?

An eye of an ostrich is slightly larger than a walnut. Thus one eye is larger than the ostrich’s brain. Most space in the ostrich skull is thus eye sockets! Inevitably this makes the eyesight very good and like within most bird families ostriches have an excellent color vision.

Ostriches do not hide their heads in the sand when they get scared, as myth suggests. On the contrary, it is really good at detecting and then run away from predators at 70 km/h. If escape is impossible, it can make kicks with its muscular legs strong enough to even kill a lion. This makes the ostrich a somewhat dangerous animal and humans need to keep proper distance from it.

Greater flamingo > < Siberian tiger