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The Largest Bird in the World

The world's largest flightless bird, the ostrich. photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

There are over 10,000 types of birds, and they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and behaviors. Some birds are tiny, some are big, and some are beautiful. Birds are part of the ecosystem, and understanding them is important for understanding the environment.

male ostrich (left) and female. photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

The World’s Largest Living Bird

The world’s largest flightless bird, the ostrich, is also the world’s largest living bird. The ostrich is found mostly in Africa. An ostrich normally weighs between 63 and 145 kilogrammes (139–320 lb). Male ostriches are around 2.1-2.8 m tall, while females are between 1.7-2.0 m tall. Their life expectancy ranges between 40 and 45 years.

Ostriches are the fastest birds on land.
Comparison an ostrich egg, a chicken egg, and a US dollar bill. photo source: commons.wikimedia.org
Ostrich with eggs.
Ostrich hen with chicks.
Ostrich’s large eyes and long eyelashes. photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

Did You Know?

  • Ostriches are the heaviest and tallest flightless birds on the planet.
  • Ostriches are the fastest birds on land, capable of running at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour (43.5 miles per hour).
  • Ostriches have the largest eggs of any living land animal on the planet. The eggs are incubated by the female ostriches during the day and by the males throughout the night. The average ostrich egg measures 15 cm (5.9 in) in length, 13 cm (5.1 in) in width, and weighs 1.4 kg (3.1 lb).
  • The earliest known ostrich fossils date back 20 to 25 million years and are found in Africa, leading some scientists to believe that they originated in Africa. The ostrich is the largest living avian dinosaur.
  • When threatened, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand, but they do lie down with their heads against the ground. Although the ostrich looks to have buried its head, this is only due to the fact that its head and neck blend in with the sand’s colour. In order to ingest more sand and stones, ostriches will occasionally lay their heads flat on the ground when feeding. The strong grit helps them crush their food in their crop since it is abrasive. The ostrich looks to be burying its head in the sand when viewed from a distance.
  • Once an ostrich perceives that it is being endangered, it will kick its feet forward to defend itself. There is a kick that can kill a human, and in some cases, it can even kill a lion, during such situations.
  • Ostrich leather is the strongest commercially available leather and is perfect for manufacturing many leather items.
  • The ostrich’s eye, which is five centimetres across, is larger than its brain and is the largest eye of any living land animal.
  • There are only two toes on each foot of the ostrich (most birds have four). This adaptation appears to help the ostrich run faster, which is beneficial while evading predators.
  • They have three stomachs, which is unusual for a bird of prey. The ostrich, in contrast to all other living birds, secretes urine independently from faeces.
  • The ostrich is one of the world’s longest-living bird species. In 1972, an ostrich in captivity survived for 62 years and 7 months, according to the The Guinness Book of Animal Facts & Feats.

Sources:Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Live Science, ABC Science, The Natural History Museum

Written by James

A BSc in Computer Science graduate with a strong interest in encyclopedia facts. I'm a passionate content writer with 10+ years' experience and enjoy creating useful content that can help others.

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