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The Ostrich Bird

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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. 


Ostrich Height

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. 


Ostrich Weight

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.


Ostrich Food

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. Usually, other birds have three to four 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.


Conclusion 

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.  

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Describe Briefly How Ostriches Reproduce?

Ans: Ostriches turn mature at the age of 3 to 4 years. Ostriches usually live in flocks. The flock may contain 5 to 50 ostriches together. A courtship that happens between male and female ostrich must occur between any kind of courtship. The female ostriches are attracted by male ostriches. It uses the black and white colour of their 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. Before the rainy season, the mating occurs and stays for 5 months. Ostriches are complex bisexual species. It helps to provide nutrients and water to their chicks at the early stage of birth. The ostrich egg size is very large. They produce 25 eggs in a dump. The egg takes around 40 to 46 days to hatch.

2. Can Ostriches Interact with Other Species?

Ans: 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. During the hatching and laying of the eggs, ostriches remain vulnerable. Most carnivorous animals think of them as easy targets. Ostriches protect their eggs and themselves with their camouflaging technique. The male ostrich distracts the predator and the female runs with the chicks. Ostriches taste good for humans. An ostrich egg takes 40 minutes to cook. Ostrich skin is also used to produce soft, durable leather products. So an ostriches interaction with the animal kingdom and human beings are quite logical economically.

3. Can Ostriches Fly? Give a Reason for Your Answer.

Ans: Ostriches do not have the capabilities to fly. People think that the ostrich weight is heavy hence it cannot fly. This fact is partly true. The heavyweight of the dinosaurs led them to extinction. When dinosaurs existed, they covered a lot more of the atmospheric space. After the extinction, other aerial animals were able to live much spaciously on earth. Since ostriches have been adapting them to the atmosphere, they started growing bigger. The ancestors of ostriches could fly. Ostriches not only lost the capability of flying but also lost the knowledge of flying. This loss of knowledge is due to evolution. Ostriches use their wings to maintain balance and speed while running. They have 7 feet wide wings, which help them to protect their chicks and mate with females. Although ostriches cannot fly, they can run at 31 miles per hour.  

4. Mention and Explain Some Unique Features in Ostrich?

Ans: An ostrich is a flightless bird with a long bare neck, strong legs, and a wide body with a short head. They have strong thighs and legs. They run at 70km/hour speed and cover 5 meters per stride. If they encounter danger from a carnivorous predator, they can kick and kill them. The ostriches have 10 cm long sharp nails on their toes. The coloured feathers help in camouflaging. Ostriches can mix with the sand colour with the help of their brown feathers. Ostriches have the largest eyes amongst all animals. It gives an excellent sight. They can spot predators from far away. This helps them to protect themselves as well as catch prey. Ostriches also collect water from plants they feed. Ostriches have three stomachs and can digest soil, rocks, and sands. They have 46 inches long, tough intestines.

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.