The ostrich is a peculiar bird, which, despite possessing giant wings, cannot fly. It is the world’s largest bird and is found in arid regions in Africa. It is grown in captivity in over 50 countries and is bred successfully. Its appearance is very unique and is characterized by a long neck and heavily feathered body. Its diet includes plants, roots, fruit, insects, lizards and small rodents. The nest of an ostrich is a simple hollow pit on the ground. The male and female take turns to incubate the eggs till they hatch. The female sits on them during the day, while the male takes over at night. A single herd will not contain more than 10-12 adult ostriches. Ostriches held special significance in many cultures and civilizations including Mesopotamia and Egypt. In Egypt, a statue of Arsinoe II riding an ostrich was placed in a tomb which was later discovered. The eggs of ostriches are still being used by The Kalahari Bushmen as water jugs. To know more interesting facts and amazing information about the ostrich, just read below.
Species: S. camelus
Average Lifespan: 30 - 40 Years
Average Weight: 220 to 350 lbs (100 to 160 kg)
Interesting And Amazing Information On Ostrich
- The female ostrich has an extraordinary ability to spot her own eggs even when they get mixed up with eggs of other females in their collective nest.
- An ostrich is a very powerful bird and in fact, a single kick at a predator, such as a lion, could prove to be fatal!
- Contrary to the popular belief, ostriches do not hide their head in the sand. They basically stretch out their neck and lay their head on the ground so that they are not seen, which give rise to the myth that ostriches hide in the sand.
- Ostrich is the largest and heaviest living bird in the world. It is unable to fly and belongs to the Ratite family, which literally means flightless.
- Ostriches are fast runners and can run up to speeds of 70km/hr. (40 mph) thus outpacing most predators, such as lions, leopards, and hyenas. Ostrich race is a popular attraction in ostrich farms and this large bird is capable of running with a small person mounted on top.
- The ostrich has one of the most advanced immune systems known to mankind.
- The meat of ostrich looks similar to beef and is also cooked in almost the same way. The meat is red meat, which is low in cholesterol, calories and is almost fat free.
- The hide of an ostrich provides the strongest commercially available leather in the world and also has some of the most beautiful feathers, which were used in ancient times to decorate ladies’ hats.
- Ostriches can be called a true dinosaur since ostrich skeletons and fossils have been found that date back to 120 million years and haven’t really changed much.
- During the winters the ostriches can either be seen alone or in pairs. During breeding season and sometimes during extreme rainless periods ostriches live in nomadic groups of five to 50 birds (led by a top hen) that often travel together with other grazing animals, such as zebras or antelopes.
- In case of ostriches, the color of the skin varies from species to species where some ostriches have light or dark grey skin there are some with pinkish or even reddish skin.
- Ostriches are omnivores and eat whatever they find their habitat including plants, especially the roots, seeds and leaves. Ostriches also feed on certain insects such as locusts and small animals like lizards. Interestingly ostriches do not drink water usually.
- The male ostriches reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 to 4 years and the female ostriches mature at least six months before the males. The mating seasons for ostriches begin in March-April, which lasts till the month of September.