Ostriches – the largest birds in the world – have always continued to amaze us humans. Ostriches are native to Africa, but are now farmed all over the world and marketed commercially for their feathers, hide and meat .
Let’s take a look at some awesome ostrich facts:
1. Did you know that ostriches are the largest living birds on the earth and can grow up to 9 feet, weighing at about 450 pounds?
2. Did you know that an adult ostrich has the most effective immune system in the whole world?
3. Did you know that on average an ostrich egg can measure approximately 6 inches in length?
4. Well, with the egg being that big, can you imagine that a single ostrich egg can feed about 13 people and its weight is equivalent to about 24 chicken eggs??
5. Are you are aware that ostrich egg shells are so strong that they can bear the weight of an adult man? The shells that are pearly white or cream are hand painted, carved and used in making artifacts.
6. Did you know that ostriches have three stomachs??
7. Did you know that though it is a bird, ostriches are actually flightless?? Yes, ostriches cannot fly. However, their ancestors were not flightless. After the mass extinction of dinosaurs in the world, there was a lot of land freely available and the birds kind of began to adjust to life on land. As they began growing, ostriches also began to lose the ability to fly owing to their enormous weight. It is also called evolution – similar to how our ancestors had tails, but we only have tailbones and no tails!! (Hmmm.. imagine, if we were to have tails now, where would we hide them???)
8. We do know that ostriches, like other birds, have wings. But, did you know that their wings help them not in flying but to maintain their balance while changing directions in their speedy runs? The wings, which span about 7 feet, help ostriches in mating and also to protect their chicks from harm and the sun.
9. Are you aware of the fact that ostriches have only 2 toes, unlike other birds which have 4?
10. Did you know that about 2-7 female ostriches lay their eggs in a single communal pit, where the dominant female lays her eggs first followed by other females? Did you also know that each female can recognize her own eggs??
11. Did you know that a female ostrich – called a hen – can lay about 40-100 eggs every year, though the ostriches are productive only from March till August? Well, that would be about an egg every other day and healthy female ostriches can continue to do so for about 25-30 years!!
12. Did you actually believe that ostriches bury their heads in the sand? Well, to clarify, it’s a myth!! Well, what actually happens is that, when an ostrich is in the line of fire, it may simply lie down with its long neck and head flat on the sand. From a distance, it looks as if the ostrich has its head buried in the sand.
13. Did you know that ostriches like to live as a community? The size of the flock can range from 5-100 birds in a group, with a male ostrich and many females in each group.
14. Can you imagine that the eye of an ostrich is the largest in the world measuring about 2 inches in diameter? However, their brains are quite puny – as small as their eye-balls.
15. Can you believe that ostriches might actually be related to dinosaurs??? Well, the ostrich tissue has been found to be very similar to that of the T-Rex.