Size and Weight:
The ostrich is one of the largest and most heavy living bird. Males typically weigh more than females, weighing between 220 to 287 pounds, and measuring 6.9 up to 9.9 feet tall. Females weigh between 198 and 242 pounds, and vary in height between 5.7 to 6.2 feet.
Ostriches are among the biggest and heaviest bird around the globe. Because of their size they’re not flightless, and can’t fly to the skies. They are instead excellent runners and can achieve speeds of up to 43 miles/hour. One stride can range from between 10 and 16 feet long. They have strong, long legs that have clawed toesthat allow them to run at these speeds.
Ostriches have a long neck, large eyes, and long, sweeping eyelashes. Ostriches have the biggest eye of any animal on land. Ostriches’ eyes measure approximately 2 inches wide. Their neck length and great vision allow them to see at great distances and allow them to keep their eyes out for predators.
Ostriches have feathers which are soft, loose and smooth, giving them an “shaggy” look. Adult male ostriches have black and white tail feathers and wings in contrast, immature birds as well as adult females sport brownish-gray feathers.
Ostriches are Omnivores. Their diet is based on the foods available in their natural habitat. They are primarily plant eaters however they also consume the lizards, snakes, insects and rodents. They can consume things that other animals are unable to digest, due to their strong intestinal tracts that can absorb as much nutrients as they can. Ostriches also consume pebbles, sand and small stones to assist in the grinding of food within the stomach. Since they eat lots of plant matter, ostriches aren’t require water to drink. However, they can consume water from the waterhole.
Ostrich courtship is a ritualistic affair that is coordinated. Males used their black and white coloring to draw a female. He would lower himself to the ground in bows and then raise or shake his feathers first of one wing, and then another while moving his tail upwards and down. Following this then he rises and runs towards the female, extending his wings open and stamping them as he moves in order to impress her. If she likes it the move, she will mate with him.
The dominant hen will mate with the male who is territorial sharing the duties of incubating eggs as well as taking care of the chicks. A territorial male can also be polygamous, and could mate with females. The females of other females can also be able to mate with males that wander. Females of other genders lay eggs in the same nest in the same way as the dominant eggs of the hen. It is narrow depression that has been scratched out of soil by male. The dominant hen is responsible for making sure her eggs are close to the center of the nest, making them the most likely to successfully hatch. A communal nest allows for more eggs to hatch successfully for the entire flock. Female ostriches lay 7 to 10 eggs per day. Ostrich eggs are among the biggest eggs, with a weight of 3 pounds with a 6 inch length and 5 inches in width. Only dinosaurs had eggs larger than ostrich eggs.
The incubation time is 42-46 days. After hatching, the chicks have the same size of barnyard chickens however, they expand at the rate of one foot every month. The chicks begin to leave from the nest together with parents just a couple of days after they hatch. After four months old, they begin to show the adult feathers and after six months they’re roughly the sizes of parents. Ostriches attain sexual maturity at 3 or 4 years of age and this is the time when males develop their black and white feathers.
Ostriches are social birds which aids in defense. They usually live in groups of around 10 birds or even male and female however, they can also be found in huge crowds of more than 100. The groups are pecking order involving the dominant male as well as a dominant female known as”the “main hen” and several other females. The dominant male is the one who establishes and defends his territorial boundaries. Males who are lone can also move around in the breeding season.