Today we’re going to tell you interesting facts about emus.
Characteristics of emu
Emu is an Australian member of the genus Dromaius. Until the 80s of the XX century, scientists ornithologists classified Emu as an ostrich but then departed from this classification.
Characteristic features of emu:
- Like ostriches, the emu has no teeth.
- Compared to other animals, the emu has some of the strongest legs.
- Females and males are very similar in appearance, so they are only distinguished by the sounds they make.
- Emu, unlike ostriches, is triple-edged.
- The sharp claws on its paws are used by the bird for defense purposes.
Emu can be up to two meters tall, with a maximum weight of about 55 kilograms, females slightly larger than males. Emu has a long blue neck, and plumage is gray or brownish. Nature has endowed birds with special blinking membranes that protect the emu’s eyes from dust. To make the birds comfortable in cold weather, their nasal passages are quite large: the icy air heats up quickly, passing through the lungs.
Due to the lack of teeth, birds have to absorb stones, pieces of metal, and even glass to grind food in the stomach. The emu diet is full of plants, sometimes also insects and lizards. Birds are sedentary, do not need to migrate, and do not know how to fly.
They prefer to live in small groups of 5-6 individuals. The breeding process of birds is interesting: the female lays eggs, but the future father hangs them, while the spouse can start mating with a completely foreign male. As a rule, a male hatches up to 8 eggs, each of them weighing up to one kilogram. 60 days after laying the eggs, the chicks are born: their bodies are covered with downs and they are kept close to their parents at first. The cubs become independent when they are 2 years old. The average life expectancy of the emu is from 10 to 20 years.
Interesting facts about emus
- Due to their strong legs, the emu can reach speeds of 55 km per hour.
- The “mating singing” of birds is spread over a distance of 2 kilometers.
- Emu and kangaroos are depicted on the emblem of Australia.
- Originally there were 3 species of emus in nature, but two of them are already extinct.
- Emu is the only bird endowed with calf muscle in nature.
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