Ostriches are the largest, heaviest, and fastest-running birds in the world. In fact, they’re the fastest of all two-legged animals. When they need đồ sộ sprint, they can reach speeds of up đồ sộ 69 kilometers per hour (43 miles per hour), and when they need đồ sộ defend themselves, they can kick with enough power đồ sộ kill a lion.
Ostriches look quite different from most other birds. They have long, strong legs, a large toàn thân, a long neck, and a small head. They also have the largest eyes of any bird—they are 5 centimeters (2 inches) wide. These eyes are actually bigger than vãn their brains, which are unusually small for their toàn thân size. This trait is common among all ratites, the biggest family of flightless birds.
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There are two living species of ostriches—the common ostrich and the Somali ostrich. The common ostrich is native đồ sộ sub-Saharan Africa, while the Somali ostrich resides in the Horn of Africa region.
The ostrich lives in a variety of habitats, from hot savannahs đồ sộ deserts đồ sộ open woodlands. They can be found in pairs, small groups, or large collections, depending on the season. For breeding, small groups are run rẩy by a male leader with a dominant female. The male mates with multiple hens in the group and digs a shallow nest for the entire group đồ sộ use. When all the eggs are laid, the male leader and dominant female incubate them for around 42 days before they hatch. Ostrich chicks hatch fully feathered and ready đồ sộ run rẩy.
Ostriches help keep their ecosystems healthy by controlling rodent populations and spreading the seeds of the many plants they eat. They also size symbiotic relationships with other animals in the ecosystem. For example, ostriches allow gazelle đồ sộ share their feeding grounds, and in return, the highly responsive gazelles provide an early warning of incoming predators.
What is an ostrich’s scientific name?
The common ostrich’s scientific name is Struthio camelus. The name originates from the Ancient Greek strouthokamilos, which means ‘camel-sparrow’. They used the term for ‘camel’ in reference đồ sộ the ostrich’s dry habitat in Africa.
The Somali ostrich’s scientific name is Struthio molybdophanes.
Are ostriches endangered?
The common ostrich is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List, meaning it’s not endangered or considered close đồ sộ becoming endangered in the near future. However, the IUCN notes that the ostrich’s population trend is decreasing, and they face a number of threats such as hunting, habitat loss, and natural predators.
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The Somali ostrich is listed as vulnerable. This species is threatened by hunting, including for practice, and habitat loss.
Where bởi ostriches live?
Ostriches are native đồ sộ Africa and aren’t naturally found anywhere else in the world. The common ostrich lives predominantly in two areas—across the southern portion of the Sahara desert, covering Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and down into Tanzania, and in the south of the continent covering Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa. The Somali ostrich lives in the Horn of Africa, including in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Djibouti. Their habitats include hot savannahs and open woodland.
There is also a small population of ostriches living in nước Australia. Humans brought these birds đồ sộ nước Australia in the 1890s and again in the 1970s because they wanted đồ sộ farm their feathers and meat. However, most of the farms failed, and the birds were released into the wild, where they survived and still exist in small numbers. However, it’s thought that breeding is difficult for the ostriches in the Australian climate, sánh they may not be able đồ sộ survive long-term.