The largest bird in the world, is flightless. We mean, of course, the ostrich, which ranges across the African savanna and deserts, getting most of the water they need from the foods they eat. The flightless ostrich is the world’s largest bird. They roam African savanna and desert lands and get most of their water from the plants they eat.
Although the ostrich can’t fly, it certainly does have its own method of defeating the adversity, with its strong powerful legs.
The Ostrich powerful hind legs can deliver a deadly kick
The ostrich can sprint for a reasonable distance achieving speeds of up to45 miles and hour and over a long distance, they can remain running at about 30 MPH. They use their wings as a sort of rudder to help them change direction very rapidly while running, and can cover about 15 feet in a single step, which means they can outrun and outdistance most of the predators who might think they were an easy meal
Those same strong legs are also deadly weapons, with each foot having a long sharp hooked claw, and able to deliver a powerful kick that can kill a lion, or a human fairly easily.
The Ostrich lives in herds, that usually have about a dozen animals, with each herd having an alpha male, who mates with the most dominate female, and then, along with his mate will dominate the herd. The males will sometimes breed with lesser females as well, and sometimes a male will wander in to breed with the lesser hens but never with the dominant one.
Every egg in the group is placed in one nest, that of the dominant hen, although her eggs are given the most prominent and protected place in the center.
The alpha male and female take turns incubating the giant eggs, and each one of which weighs as much as two dozen chicken eggs.
There are several legends about ostriches that are not true. Unlike the legends, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand.
This may have originated however, with one of their defensive behaviors, which is to lie very low and press their neck to the ground in an attempt to become less visible.
An Ostrich in Addo Park Eastern Cape South Africa
The ostrich feathers will blend in very well with the sand and soil and it does seem to give the appearance that they have buried their heads in the sand.
The Ostrich is an omnivore, eating plants as well as small mammals, insects, lizards and other creatures. Truly they will feed on whatever it takes to keep them alive in the harsh environment that they live in.
Recent years have seen Ostriches imported to the United states, where they are raised for their eggs, which are used in holiday crafting and to make jewelery boxes, or for the ostrich meat, which is considered a delicacy here.