African Ostrich (Struthio camelus)

African Ostrich

The African Ostrich, Struthio camelus, is a large flightless bird native to Africa. It is the only living species of its family, Struthionidae and its genus, Struthio. Ostriches share the order Struthioniformes with the kiwis, emus, and other ratites. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at maximum speeds of about 70 km/h, the top land speed of any bird. The Ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any living bird (extinct elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand laid larger eggs).

The diet of the Ostrich mainly consists of plant matter, though it also eats insects. It lives in nomadic groups which contain between five and fifty birds. When threatened, the Ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or will run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick from its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females. These fights usually last just minutes, but they can easily cause death through slamming their heads into opponents.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African Ostrich - 09.10.2010

African Ostrich

The chicks of the African Ostrich nearly look still more uncommon than the adult birds.

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