10 Fascinating Facts About the Ostrich
With their soulful eyes, delicate-looking necks, and long legs, ostriches are some of the most fascinating creatures on earth. Read on to learn some amazing facts about this flightless avian superstar.
Largest Bird in the World
Move over, Big Bird. At 7 to 9 feet tall and weighing up to 320 pounds, the ostrich is the undisputed heavyweight of the bird class.
Due to their large bodies, ostriches cannot fly. According to the San Diego Zoo, they use their powerful wings to help them balance and change direction while running.
The ostrich is more than just a pretty face; it can be a formidable opponent in a fight. With strong legs that include a sharp claw, the ostrich can kick a larger animal to death.
The fastest creature on two legs, the ostrich can maintain speeds up to 30 miles per hour for distances up to 10 miles, according to National Wildlife Federation. On short sprints, it can even hit speeds up to 43 miles per hour.
The Eyes Have It
According to Live Science, ostrich eyes measure up to 2 inches in diameter, enabling the bird to view incredible details. The lucky birds also have extremely long eyelashes.
With sizes equivalent to about two dozen chicken eggs, ostrich eggs are the largest bird eggs on the planet. Ostrich mothers place their eggs in a communal nest which is tended by the dominant female.
Dispelling the Myth
According to the American Ostrich Association, ostriches don’t really bury their heads in the sand. This myth may stem from the fact that ostriches dig nests in the ground using their beaks.
Ostriches consume very little water, enabling them to survive in arid climates. They get hydration from eating plants.
That’s One Big Baby
A baby ostrich can weigh as much as a fully grown chicken at birth. Its size increases by about 100 times in its first 6 months of life.
A Rocky Diet
Ostriches eat plants, seeds, insects, and small rodents. They even swallow rocks to help them digest their food.