A Whole Lot of Ostrich Facts
1. Ostriches can not fly.
2. They are native to the African continent.
3. There were once Arabian Ostriches. Unfortunately, they were hunted to extinction in the mid-twentieth century.
4. Ostriches can run at a maximum speed of 45mph (70km/h) making them the fastest two-legged animals in the world.
5. They use their wings like 'rudders' of an airplane to change direction whilst running.
6. It is the largest living bird with males reaching up to 9 feet!
7. Ostriches can weigh up to 130 kilograms (20 stone).
8. The ostrich has a diet of plants and insects.
9. They are group birds. Flocks vary between 5-50 ostriches.
10. If in danger an ostrich will either run away or lay flat on the ground. However, they can also attack with a powerful kick. Strong enough to kill a lion!
11. They do not bury their heads in the sand. This is a myth!
12. Their feathers are used for dusters. The barbules in the feathers act like 'fingers' to collect dust particles.
13. Ostriches have the largest eyes of any land animal. Very useful for spotting predators in the distance. Their eyes are bigger than their brains!
14. They have three stomachs.
15. The ostrich has a lifespan of up to 45 years.
16. In a communal nest, a female ostrich can still spot her own eggs. The dominant female gets to lay her eggs first.
17. The incubation period for their eggs varies between 35-45 days.
18. The bird has ancestry of at least 40 million years. Evidence comes from a fossil found in Europe.
19. Males control a territory of up to 20 square kilometers (8 square miles).
20. Ostriches have no teeth. They swallow pebbles to grind down food in their gizzards. There are around 1kg of pebbles inside an ostrich stomach!
21. Ostriches raised by humans will often try to court them!
22. Apparently, the taste of ostrich meat is similar to beef.
23. In some cultures people have ostrich races where they ride them like horses.
So, there you have it. A whole lot of ostrich facts that you realised you wanted to know!
Written by Gary Mullen from Ostrich Feathers.
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