Ostrich ( Struthio camelus )
Ostrich - Ostrich information - Ostrich facts
The Ostrich lives in Africa and South Australia however it can be found almost in every ZOO. It inhabits grasslands and semi-desert parts. It is a very tall animal with long and flexible throat. This enables it to swallow a number of things including things it cannot digest at all (for instance padlocks, keys etc). Its head is very small. The body is rounded and is covered with brown-coloured feathers. Legs are very long and they have sharp claws which might be dangerous even to humans. They are good swimmers too. Male ostriches can be very dangerous especially during mating season.
Its height is approximately 2.7 metres (9 feet) and weighs about 160 kg (350 lb) whereas the ostrich females are smaller than male ones. This makes ostrich the biggest bird in the world! Moreover it is also the fastest two-legged bird as well. It is able to reach the speed of 75 km per hour (45 mph). Unfortunately it often runs in huge circles so in spite of its speed it is an easy prey sometims. After birth small ostriches grow about 30 cm per month for the first five months. It usually lives in flocks of 5-50 birds.
Ostriches lay up to 20 eggs while the average weight is 1.5 kg and incubation period lasts over 40 days. It is omnivorous which means it feeds on grass, seeds, vertebrates, insects and so on. It is said that the ostriches dig up their head into the sand thinking they cannot be seen. In fact they lay their head down on the ground which makes them almost invisible to their natural enemies. The same thing is done also when sitting on the nest. There are several ostriches type but some of them are extinct already (e.g. The Syrian Ostrich, Struthio camelus syriacus). Ostriches generally live up to 60 years.