The Ostrich Bird
The largest flightless bird in the world is an Ostrich. It is only found in Africa. Adult ostrich's height is 2.75m, and its neck is half of its body. An ostrich weighs around 150 pounds. The female ostriches are smaller than male ostriches. An ostrich egg weighs 1.35kg which is about 3 pounds. Its length is 6 inches, and its diameter is 5 inches and termed the world’s largest egg. Male ostriches have white plums on tails and wings and are black. Female ostriches are greyish-brown and white. Their powerful legs and thighs are bare, and the neck is bluish to reddish. They have small heads and a wide body with big brown eyes and long lashes. Depending on the season, ostriches remain in pairs, in small flocks, individually, or in large groups. Ostriches can live without water for long periods and feed on vegetation or small insects.
Ostriches can never take to the skies but can run faster than we can imagine. Its long powerful bare legs and thighs can cover a great distance effortlessly. Its feet have only two toes so that it can run. The male ostrich height varies from 6.9 to 9 feet which are 2.1 to 2.7 meters. The female ostrich height is 5.7 to 6.2 feet that are 1.7 to 1.9 meters. An ostrich can participate in 43 miles per hour sprints. They also can maintain a steady speed of 31 miles per hour. The ostriches take 10 to 16 feet long strides, usually larger than many rooms. In times of danger, ostriches can escape pretty easily. At one-month-old ostriches, a chick can run up to 35 miles per hour. An ostrich eye is 2 inches long. It has the largest eye amongst all the land animals.
In the whole world, the ostrich is the tallest and heaviest among all the species of birds. On an average count, the male ostriches are almost nine feet tall and nearly 290 pounds weight whereas the females are almost six feet tall and nearly 200 pounds weight. Though their head is small, they have large eyeballs, size of 3 inches with thick black eyelashes. One of the reasons for the ostrich being a flightless bird is its heavyweight. But despite its size and incapability of flying, it can run at 70 kilometres per hour and they are the fastest bird on land. Due to their long necks and legs, their heads remain nearly 3 meters above the ground. As the ostriches have strong legs, they can even fight their predators like cheetahs, lions, leopards, etc.
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Ostrich Egg Size
An ostrich egg weighs 3lbs and is 6 inches in diameter. An average ostrich egg size is 150mm. In a dump, nest ostriches lay eggs. These are also known as communal nests. A communal nest can hold 60 ostrich eggs at times. An ostrich egg takes 42 to 46 days maximum to hatch. A male ostrich or female ostrich sit on the eggs to provide warmth. Ostrich chicks are bigger than any other baby birds. They are as big as a hen during birth. It is scientifically proven that ostriches are good at responsibilities. They take care of their baby chicks. The male ostrich saves the chick and the female from the predator by luring them. The female ostrich runs with the chick to protect it. A one-month-old chick can run at a speed of 35 miles per hour. It becomes fully grown at six months old. After 3 to 4 years, it becomes mature. An ostrich can live for 50 to 70 years.
Ostriches eat whatever is present in their habitat at the seasonal time. They are omnivorous animals. Ostriches eat plants, roots, leaves, seeds, insects, rodents, snakes, and lizards. The ostrich collects its food at the top of the throat in the crop. It swallows the food when the crop is full. Ostriches have tough intestines that can digest sand pebbles and stones. No animal can eat and digest like an ostrich. Their intestines are 46 feet long and can absorb a good amount of nutrients from the food. Ostriches can live without water in summers as well. They do not drink water as they get everything from the plants. Although, they tend to drink water on seeing a water bank. They have unique features that reduce water loss from the body during summer. At the zoo, ostrich food like broccoli, carrots, vitamins, and minerals are fed.
Ostrich National Bird
Ostriches are national birds and native birds of Open Africa. They live in the Sahara desert, southern and eastern parts of Africa. The long legs of the ostrich help them in running. The ostrich is a two-toed bird, while other birds have three or four toes. It is mainly an omnivore and is capable of eating a considerable volume in one gulp. The bulge that moves down their throat is called a crop that remains temporarily stored in their neck. Male and female ostriches each perform courtship. Animated, gyrating and wildly waving heads with attractive brown feathers are male ostriches. The female is shyer. The female shows that she is ready to mate by spreading her wings and holding them close to the ground.
Where are Ostriches Found?
Every species in this world is unique, and their habitats are also unique. In the world, ostriches only live in southern or eastern Africa. Ostriches also live in the Sahara desert. Ostriches like drylands, grassy areas, and desert areas as their habitats. Their body and epidermis support such habitats. Ostriches have thick eyelids to protect themselves from sandstorms. Their soft feather coating above the body keeps them warm on cold desert nights. Ostriches keep on changing their habitat. They are nomadic and stay in a place as long as they get their food. Ostriches also drink a gallon of water a day. They live close to water banks. Ostriches change their habitat, hence developing the power to interact with other animals. Since this habitat provides shelter for other predators and grazers, humans should be careful in destroying lands. Ostriches are also captivated in almost all the zoos in the world.
The Ostrich Adaptations
The most prevalent Ostrich adaptation is their long, muscular legs. Since ostriches lived on this earth for a long time, they have adapted many features to ensure their species success. They can run and walk faster due to their bipedal adaptation of two feet. The ostrich also uses their legs for defense. A powerful kick allows no predator to attack back. Ostriches are successful, speedy runners. Research says that they put pressure on different toes while running. It helps them divide the pressure on their feet and take the pressure on the tip of the toe. Another great adaptation is that it has thick eyelids. It is mainly to protect their eyes from sand storms in the desert areas. Ostriches also have a set of sharp teeth inside their beaks to chew on small insects that they feed.
Our earth is full of unique species. Ostrich is one of them. Ostriches have unique features that appeared due to evolution. They adapted special skills to survive in the wilds of the earth. Their long legs, long neck, large eyes, strong feet help them to survive. Ostriches have soft feathers that protect their chicks. They can also interact with the other species in the atmosphere. Their interaction with human beings is quite helpful. Ostrich skin provides leather. Ostrich meat and ostrich eggs provide a rich source of protein. These species from Africa will continue evolving themselves for better adaptation and survival.
FAQs on Ostrich
1. Describe Briefly How Ostriches Reproduce?
Ostriches turn mature at the age of 3 to 4 years. Ostriches are complex bisexual species. Female ostriches are attracted by male ostriches. It uses the black and white colour of its feathers. The male ostrich bows down and moves his tail feathers. They grant permission from the female ostrich in such a manner. The male ostrich chooses 3 to 5 hens to mate with. They gain permission from the female ostrich in such a manner. Before rainy season, the mating occurs and stays for 5 months. It helps to provide nutrients and water to their chicks at the early stage of birth.
2. Can Ostriches Interact with Other Species?
Yes, ostriches can interact with other species. Ostriches share their shelter with other grazers like antelopes and zebras. They have a commensal relationship as these species coexist with each other. They have similar diets but their physical characteristics differ. For this reason, ostriches and other grazers share their habitats and do not affect their population.
3. Can Ostriches Fly? Give a Reason for Your Answer.
Ostriches do not have the capabilities to fly. People think that the ostrich's weight is heavy hence they can not fly. This fact is true at present.
4. Mention and Explain Some Unique Features in Ostrich?
Ostrich's body provides a massive help to it to run faster. When they run, they open their wings to maintain body balance and speed. Ostrich weight is not a problem, since their muscles and ligaments are strong enough. They have a unique locomotive endurance strategy. They use ligaments as passive legs. stabilizing mechanism and saving metabolic energy, which helps them to run fast. Their ankle joint ligaments support their body.
5. How are Ostriches able to Run Faster with a Heavyweight?
Ans: Ostrich's body provides a massive help to it to run faster. Ostriches could fly in the past, but they evolved themselves, and their wings became shorter and smaller. When they run, they open their wings to maintain body balance and speed. Ostrich weight is not a problem, since their muscles and ligaments are strong enough. They have a unique locomotive endurance strategy. They use ligaments as a passive leg-stabilizing mechanism and save metabolic energy, which helps them to run fast. Their ankle joint ligaments support their body weight. The contoured joint protrusion on ankle joints is present on either leg. The joints are extended 168 degrees and ligaments are tensed due to the protrusion on either side. Hence it causes stabilization. This strong feet mechanism allows them to run faster and take large steps up to 5 meters long.