7 cool things about the ostrich

The ostrich is the biggest bird in the world and one ostrich egg can weigh up to 1.5kg. There are many cool things about this bird – here are the seven of them.

1. No-fly zone

An ostrich has huge wings with exquisite feathers – so beautiful that people use their feathers for various purposes. Yet, the ostrich is the world’s biggest flightless bird. His wingspan is 2m but, even though his wings are so big, they are not big enough to help him take off, or to keep him up in the air.

2. Run, baby, run!

To make up for not being able to fly, the ostrich can run really fast. It is, after all, his only way to escape danger. Clocking in at 70km/h, it would be a safer bet to climb a tree than to try to outrun an ostrich. But he is still slower than a lion, who runs at an average speed of 80km/h.

If an ostrich decides to stand his ground and fight, you’d better watch out for his famous powerful kick – one that can kill a human, and even a lion. There is something awkward going on with an ostrich’s knees – not only do they bend backwards, but he also has double kneecaps.

3. Biggest bird on earth

This big bird is about 2.75m tall and can weigh more than 150kg. Even his eyes are big – 5cm in diameter. And he has long eyelashes to keep sand and bugs out of his eyes. His neck is about 1m long, which is about half the length of a giraffe’s neck.

4. Dancing king

Have you ever seen a male ostrich dance? This amazing dance is performed flat on the ground, while the ostrich ‘dances’ from his one side to the other side, with his wings wide open. This dance is normally reserved for attracting female ostriches.

5. Cousins

The ostrich is a cousin of the emu, kiwi, rhea and cassowary – all of whom also belong to the group of birds called ratites (flightless birds).

6. Grub

The ostrich eats whatever is available – from roots, leaves and seeds to small insects, lizards and snakes. To help him grind his food, he also swallows small pebbles and sand. Whatever he consumes then makes its way through his unusually long intestines and three stomachs.

7. Old man

An ostrich can reach quite a ripe old age. He can live for between 50 and 70 years in nature – that’s as long as African elephants, who can also live for up to 70 years.

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