Ostriches space large, flightless bird that have actually long legs and also a long neck the protrudes from a ring body. Males have actually bold black-and-white coloring that they usage to entice females. Females, on the various other hand, are light brown.

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Ostriches room bigger than any type of other bird in the world. Lock can thrive up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) tall and can weigh up to 320 lbs. (145 kilograms), follow to theAfrican Wildlife Foundation, and also an ostrich"s eyes room 2 customs (5 centimeters) in diameter — the biggest of any land animal. The ostrich is the only bird that has actually two toe on each foot. All various other birds have three or four toes, follow to the American Ostrich Association.

Where perform ostriches live?

Wild ostriches live in the dry, warm savannas and also woodlands of Africa. They once roamed all over Asia, Africa and also the Arabian Peninsula, but due to the fact that they have been pursued so extensively, wild ostriches" range has been lessened to sub-Saharan Africa, follow to theUniversity that Michigan Museum that Zoology.However, ostriches have the right to be discovered in captivity all end the world.

What perform ostriches eat?

Ostriches room omnivores, which means they eat both vegetation and also meat. Although they choose plants — especially roots, seeds and leaves — they likewise eat locusts, lizards, snakes and also rodents, follow to theSan Diego Zoo. They additionally eat sand and also pebbles, to assist grind up their food inside their gizzard, i m sorry is a small pouch where food is crushed and also ripped up prior to it will the stomach.


Ostriches don"t must drink water; they get all the water they need from the plants they eat. However, they carry out drink if lock come across a watering hole.



To attract a female, a male ostrich (shown on right wooing a female) will do a little dance in which the crouches down and also alternates pass his black-and-white wing forward, one after the other. (Image credit: four Oaks Shutterstock)

adjustment habits

Male ostriches are referred to as cocks or roosters, and females are dubbed hens. A team of ostriches is referred to as a flock. Flocks can consist of up to 100 birds, though most have 10 members, according to the mountain Diego Zoo. The group has a dominant male and a dominant female and several other females. Lone males come and also go during mating season.

To acquire a female"s attention, males bow and flap your wings outside to screen their plumage. When they are ready to mate, the male"s beak and shins will revolve bright red. Sometimes, his neck will adjust to a red shade to match. Females also readjust color when they are all set to mate. Their feathers will rotate a silvery color, according to theAmerican Ostrich Association.

Ostrich egg & baby ostriches

Ostrich eggs are 6 customs (15 cm) in diameter and also can weigh approximately 3 lbs. (1.3 kg). Eggs are laid in a communal swarm called a intake nest, which have the right to hold around 60 egg at one time. Males, as well as females, sit top top the eggs till they hatch, which can take 42 to 46 days.


Ostrich offspring are larger than any other bird baby. In ~ birth, chicks deserve to be as large as chickens. The males and also females share the duty of taking treatment of the young, follow to the san Diego Zoo. Throughout an attack, the male tries to tempt the predator far from the chicks while they run for cover v the female.

By six months, a chick is nearly at that full-grown height; at 3 or 4 years, it will reach maturity. One ostrich have the right to live 50 to 75 years.



The largest and also heaviest living bird, the ostrich is flightless and also instead is built for running. With its an effective legs, the ostrich deserve to sprint in short bursts approximately 43 mph (70 kph), and can preserve a steady speed of 31 mph (50 kph). (Image credit: Stockxpert.)

Classification/Taxonomy

Ostriches room in the same order together cassowaries, emus, kiwis and rheas. The taxonomy the ostriches, according to the combined Taxonomy details System(ITIS), is:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: ChordataClass: AvesOrder: Struthioniformes Family: Struthionidae Genus & species: Struthio camelusSubspecies: Struthio camelus camelus (red-necked orNorth african ostrich), Struthio camelus molybdophanes (Somali ostrich), Struthio camelus massaicus (Masai ostrich), Struthio camelus australis (South afri or southerly ostrich)

conservation status

According come the global Union because that Conservation the Nature"s (IUCN) Red List, many ostrich subspecies are not endangered, despite their populations are declining. The Somali ostrich is listed as vulnerable, despite their populace is unknown. It is thought that they are on a quick decline.

various other facts

It might seem amazing that an ostrich"s slim legs deserve to keep their big bodies upright. Their legs are perfectly inserted so that the body"s facility of gravity balances on optimal of the legs.

Their slim legs provide them great speed and also maneuverability, too. They have the right to run up to 40 mph (64.3 km/h) because that sustained periods of time, according to the American Ostrich Association.

Contrary to famous belief, ostriches don"t bury their heads in the sand, however they perform lie down with their heads against the ground as soon as they feeling threatened. It just looks prefer the ostrich has buried its head since its head and neck mix in with the shade of the sand.

Ostriches fight with their feet. They absent forward since that"s the direction in which their legs bend, follow to the American Ostrich Association. A solid kick deserve to kill a lion.

Ostrich feather look shaggy since they hang loosely and also don"t hook together favor feathers top top other species of birds.

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Alina Bradford is a contributing writer for Live Science. End the previous 16 years, Alina has actually covered everything from Ebola come androids while composing health, science and tech articles for significant publications. She has multiple health, safety and lifesaving certifications indigenous Oklahoma State University. Alina"s score in life is to shot as numerous experiences together possible. To date, she has actually been a volunteer firefighter, a dispatcher, instead of teacher, artist, janitor, children"s book author, pizza maker, event coordinator and also much more.