The ostrich sometimes referred to as the common ostrich is generally seen as one or two species of flightless large birds inhabiting the African regions and an extant member of the genus Struthio, in the diverse group of flightless birds known as the ratite family.
According to some studies it has been theorized that the Small ostrich may considerably be recognized as a separate species of the common ostrich, most taxonomists will maintain the Small ostrich as a subspecies.
Facts about the common ostrich
▪ The ostrich; the largest extant species of the ratite family is known for laying the largest eggs of any living species next to the extinct elephant birds previously native to island of Madagascar as well as the New Zealand giant moa (Dinornis), both known for laying much larger eggs.
▪ The common ostrich is known to have an average lifespan of between forty to forty-five years.
▪ The male adult ostrich can be seen mostly black in color, with a few white primary colored feathers and tail. The female ostrich on the other hand is known for their combination of grey-brown and white colored feathers. As such the ostrich is bred worldwide mainly for the decorative use of its feathers which are used in the manufacture of feather dusters while the skin is used for a variety of leather products and their meat commercially marketed.
▪ The ostrich has between fifty to sixty tail feathers, sixteen primary feathers in their wings, four on their bastard wing and between twenty to twenty-three secondary feathers.
▪ The eyes of the common ostrich are recognized as the largest of any known land vertebrate and can be seen as having a total diameter of as much as over 2 inches. Their eyes additionally shaded from the sun allows the ostrich to catch sight of a waiting predator from an extended distance allowing the species to avoid any unnecessary danger.
▪ Contrary to most species of birds known for having four feet, the ostrich bird has just two toes on each foot with the existing nail on the inner toe significantly larger in size resembling somewhat of a hoof with no visible nail on the outer toe. Nonetheless this reduced number of toes serves the ostrich as an aid to allow the bird to run at great speeds to evade a predator with the ability to cover a distance of ten to sixteen feet in a single stride.
▪ Similar to most species of birds the ostrich wings having a wing chord measurement of thirty-five inches can span of about six feet when extended and are generally used to shade their young chicks and as well as a means used by the male ostrich to attract the female during the mating season. Unlike other birds the ostrich feathers do not have the small hooks which are known for interlocking the external smooth feathers as seen in most inflight birds resulting in the fluffy appearance of the feathers commonly seen in the species. Nonetheless the ostrich feathers provide the bird with an adequate means of insulation allowing the species to survive a wide range of temperatures as much as up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
▪ The ostrich unlike other extant birds does not store its using and faeces in the coprodeum, instead the faeces is stored separately in the terminal rectum allowing the ostrich to secrete urine independently from its faeces.
▪ Contrary to the popular belief, the ostrich when in danger will not burry it’s head in the sand. Conclusively this folk take is thought to have begun with the Roman author and natural philosopher Gaius Plinius Secundus better known as Pliny the Elder.
▪ While the common ostrich, the cassowaries, kiwis, rheas, and the emus are all members of the same ratite family, evolutionary studies into the group has shown that the ostrich is the earliest extant member of the Palaeognathae group containing the five extant branches of flightless lineages and as such is seen sharing a close relation to the Tinamou order of flighted birds.
▪ With its distinctive long neck and lengthly legs the common ostrich can run up to speeds of about 43 miles per hour and maintain a steady speed of thirty-one miles per hour faster than any known bird seen running on land as well as the world’s fastest two-legged animal.
▪ Although the ostrich is generally known to prefer a plant based diet consisting of flowers, seeds, fruits, grass and shrubs they have been known to display a natural tendency to sometimes eat invertebrates such as locusts and other small insects. As such they are neither classified as carnivores nor herbivores but rather are seen as omnivorous creatures and will basically eat anything they come across.
▪ The ostrich will habitat in nomadic groups sometimes consisting of over 50 members. When sensing danger, the common ostrich will attempt to conceal itself by either running away or laying flat on the ground. However if cornered by a predator the ostrich will attack by kicking with its strong legs.
▪ A typical ostrich can weigh from 139 to 320 points with the East African adult male species having an average weight of over 240 pounds and the females sometimes weighing as much as 220 pounds.
▪ Ostriches are known for reaching sexual maturity within two to four years; with the female ostrich maturing as earlier as up to six months before the males. The female ostrich like other species of birds is capable of reproducing several times during its lifetime, beginning its mating season between the months of March and April and ending just before the month of September.
▪ A mature male ostrich can reach anywhere between six to nine feet in its height while females slightly shorter after maturing will sometimes reach between six to seven feet in height. Ostrich chicks when they are first born are fawn in their color, with darkly colored spots. During the first year after birth the chicks will grow at an average rate of about 10 inches every month weighing approximately 99 pounds at the end of their first year.
UStream Baby Ostrich Live Web Cam
Online viewers by visiting the UStream Network can watch a live broadcast featuring a baby ostrich known as Aries shown in the video link posted below.
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