Emu can’t fly, but they run fast.
The merit of this is in the big and powerful legs, thanks to which the bird travels considerable distances. Perfectly calibrated movements feathery makes thanks to the special structure of the foot. There are only two toes on the foot – one of them is small and almost invisible, the second is much more massive, it has a claw.
With the help of the thumb, the bird keeps its balance and provides a good grip on the ground. Due to this, the animal can perform maneuvers on the run, such as changing the direction of movement. Also in case of danger, it can defend itself with a powerful claw.
A running emu can reach an average speed of 50 km/h. Such a run allows him to cross large wastelands. The bird’s step size is 4 meters. Such a scale is provided not only by the structure of paws but also by powerful muscles. From the side of the runner in motion looks graceful. The unique musculoskeletal system of the bird has interested scientists who are engaged in the development of artificial limbs.
The facts about emu
- One blow to emu’s leg kills a lion.
- One emu’s egg on volume is equivalent to two tens chickens.
- Unlike other birds, ostrich feathers are soaked by rain.
- The ostrich’s eye is the largest among all terrestrial creatures.
- It is the only bird in the world that can withstand the human weight.
- During the danger, the ostrich makes a sound that resembles a lion’s growl.
- Contrary to popular belief, an ostrich does not hide its head in the sand during the danger.
On its strong and high legs, it can run at a maximum speed quite long distances. And this is even though his paw is only two fingers, and one is longer than the other.
One of the fingers is almost imperceptible, a small branch without a fingernail. But the second one has a big massive claw. It serves as a protection for the bird when it strikes a defensive blow to the attacker, and it helps the running bird to gain high speed. The claw supports the whole body – its contact with the ground helps the ostrich to push away.
To cross the long terrain, ostriches run at a speed of more than 50 km / h. Specialists say that this is a lot, and confirm that the reason lies in the special structure of their limbs. Many studies on the ostrich musculoskeletal system are now the basis for the study of the musculoskeletal system in humans.
Even though the ostrich wings are underdeveloped, and the chest muscles are weak, and it does not allow them to fly, the leg muscles of these birds are developed so that each step is springy, light, graceful, and yet wide. The load is distributed in such a way that the body does not bend forward while running, and it seems that the birds do not run, but simply move their legs at a very fast pace, making “grounded” jumps. One ostrich’s step is about 4 meters.
Emu’s cubs practically do not lag behind their parents, except that their endurance is slightly lower. Young ostriches reduce their speed to 50 km/h after a 70 km/h race. The chicks of one month old always follow their mothers and fathers everywhere, even though they are very small in size.
The scientific name “ostrich” sounds like a sparrow-camel. It justifies its name because from the look of a clumsy, cumbersome, slow creature is actually very clever and fast. And it does not interfere with its weight or height. In seconds, the speed of running ostrich in case of danger is amazing – 20 m/sec.
The height of an ostrich is equal to the height of a horse, but the bird’s speed is much higher than that of a horse. It is possible to catch horses on a turn if you go in a cut, while an ostrich will be difficult to catch not only directly. It develops speed, and for hours does not reduce it despite any obstacles.
When the emu gains the maximum speed, he lifts his wings as if he is going to take off. But so he just keeps his balance, and he can never take off – there is no keel, the skeleton is not pneumatic (except for the hips), the wings and chest muscles are weak.
After a quick and long run, the bird’s strength is exhausted at once. Then it falls to the ground, dropping its head on the sand or chest, as there is no strength to keep its long neck.
Maximum Emu speed
The secret of fast running feathered is to save energy. Thanks to this, the ostrich maintains a stable high speed for a long time. No other animal in the world has such a unique ability.
The maximum documented running speed of an emu is 92 km/h. This is almost twice as high as their normal speed. In practice, runners in feathers rarely reach such a speed.
Speed of Emu during the danger
In natural conditions, the birds have almost no enemies – no one dares to attack such a large and strong bird. In this regard, clashes with predators can not be seen even on TV. Although a bird can kill an enemy with one movement of its leg, it prefers to just run away. It has an incredibly developed vision and hearing, so they see the danger in a few kilometers.
Seeing a hyena, lion, or man, an ostrich runs at a speed of 70 km/h. In this race, the length of one jump is 7 meters. The rhythm of the featherbed keeps for a short time, so after a short race, its speed drops to 50 km/h. Ostriches also develop no less speed. At the monthly age, they keep up with their mother, who gives out “fifty” per hour. Even the immature chicks look impressive. Such properties of the bird’s body ensure its survival in arid savannah conditions.