Ostriches are the world’s most giant flightless birds that are included in ratites as they lack the essential bone with which flight muscles are attached. They thrive in Africa, where conditions are harsh with the danger of predators. But ostrich can survive in those conditions with strong legs used for running and kicking. Let’s discuss some of the fascinating facts about the ostrich.
15 Amazing Facts That You Don’t Know About.
Ostrich is one of the giant birds on this planet, having more than 9 feet. Their necks’ height is half of their total height, and the female is smaller than males because their average height is between 6 to 9 feet. Just like their height, they are the heaviest ones too. Male ostriches weigh around 280 pounds, while female ostriches weigh approximately 200 pounds. Female ostriches are smaller in weight and height than male ostriches.
Ostrich is counted among the fastest creatures on this planet, which can run at 45 miles per hour, leaving numerous predators behind. Ostrich can run at an average of 31 miles per hour and outrun numerous predators like lions, hyenas, etc. Their flexible legs and two-toed feet help them take a single stride of 5 meters. Even a healthy ostrich can complete a marathon race of 26 miles in just 35 minutes.
Ostriches’ eyes are the biggest in the bird family, and land-living animals that measure two inches. Their eyes are bigger than their brain, which is as big as the billiard ball size. They are five times bigger than the human eye.
Their eyes have long whooping eyelashes adapted to protect them from damage, especially sand storms. They live in deserts where sandstorms are usual and can affect the animals’ eyes and vision, so these eyelashes protect them from other damages.
The same as this bird’s size, their eggs are the largest ones weighing around 3 pounds and having a diameter of 6 inches. These eggs took too long to cook and have more calories than chicken eggs. Each egg contains more than 2000 calories. Females lay their eggs in a dump nest, which can hold around 60 eggs. Both male and female ostriches sit on it until they are hatched. It takes approximately 40 to 45 days to hatch them.
Besides this, ostrich eggs shells are much stronger than any other bird. Due to their strong shells, they have been used for decoration purposes.
Baby ostriches or chicks are as big as the size of a hen and eat the fluid inside the egg right after hatching to fulfill the nutrient needs. They can grow 10 to 12 inches each month for the first six months. They stay with their parents for the first 6 or 7 months and learn how to eat.
All birds have three or four toes, while the ostrich has two toes and is the only bird with these unique feet. These two toes reduce weight from their lower body which helps them run faster by maintaining the speed of 31 miles per hour.
Ostrich’s diet varies depending on the availability of food. They are omnivores, which means they can consume plants and animals. Most parts of their diet are vegetation because they can’t find numerous animals in the desert. Moreover, they eat stones to digest all their food. Stones help in the grinding of food in the Gizzard.
8.Survive Without Water
Ostriches have specialized systems that help them to live without water. They can survive without water for two weeks. Mostly they don’t drink water because they obtain it from the plants they eat. After all, it’s hard to find a freshwater source in deserts, so their body extracts it from plants. Ostrich bathes in water too if they find plenty of it; otherwise, living for a long duration without it is not a problem.
Ostrich wings are 2 meters wide and are used to attract females in the mating season. These long wings help to change their direction while running at incredible speed. It’s difficult to change direction while running in a zigzag manner, so their wings help to take a sharp turn. Besides this, wings are also used to provide shadows to their young ones.
Long flexible, strong legs help ostrich deliver the strongest kick to their predators, which is enough to kill a lion in a single shot because they can kick with a force of 2000 pounds per square inch. Ostrich first bends its knee to prepare for a kick and then leaves with a tremendous speed, which badly impacts the opponents, leading to their death.
11.Ostrich Burying Head In Sand
In pictures or reality, you might have seen an ostrich burying his head down in the sand. Most people believe that they do this when they detect danger and bury heads to protect themselves. But it’s totally wrong because ostrich buries their head in the sand to eat stones and pebbles, which help them in their digestive system.
Ostrich attracts their females through a specific dance that takes place from April to September, which is their mating season. During this dance, the male ostrich spreads its wings and moves it forward in front of the female and keeps on doing this until his desired female agrees to mate with him.
13.No Sweat Glands
Ostrich lacks sweat glands that help survive in the hot climate, especially in the hottest weather of Africa. On hot days, their respiratory system increases the evaporation process to regulate body temperature.
Ostrich has a unique stomach which is divided into two parts. In the first portion, food is partially processed, broken into small pieces, and further moved to the next part, commonly known as the gizzard, where stones are used to process food. After this, food is transferred to the intestines, where energy is absorbed from the food.
In an ostrich family, one male and a female are considered their leaders. In the mating season, dominant females lay their eggs in the middle of the nest while weaker females lay their eggs around the dominant’s eggs. If the dominant can’t find space to lay eggs in the nest, she can discard some of the weaker females’ eggs.