One of the largest birds on earth is the African ostrich. Surely, you have seen it more than once in photos and videos. In addition to being very large and fast, feathers and down birds are in great demand. In this article we will tell you more about this species of birds, and the photos from our photo gallery will allow you to see how funny this ostrich species is.
African ostrich can not fly, but it can run very fast. Inside this breed there are two more differences: birds with red legs and necks and with white and blue necks and legs. By habitat distinguish North African, Somali, Masai and East African ostriches. The difference is due only to climatic zones of habitat, color of legs and neck during mating periods.
Modern Africa is considered the birthplace of ostriches, but nowadays the bird also lives in Iraq, Iran and Arabia. Despite attempts to preserve the species, the population is declining, and the subspecies of the African ostrich living in the Middle East is generally considered destroyed (since 1966). In prehistoric times, these birds runners already inhabited the territory of Eastern Europe and India. We offer to look at the next photo - where the ostrich is among the savanna, its natural habitat.
Recognize the feathered is very easy. The average height of "African" - 270 cm, and sometimes the weight reaches 160 kg. The constitution is dense, the neck is long, without plumage, the head is small and slightly flattened. The beak is large and straight, the eyes are round, have fluffy thick eyelashes, thanks to which the bird constantly becomes the hero of funny plots, photos and pictures. As you know, an ostrich's eye is the same size as its brain.
A keel that helps all birds fly has no ostrich. The muscles of the chest are poorly developed, and the skeleton is rather fragile, except for the bones of the thigh. The wings are in an underdeveloped state, they almost do not use ostriches. But the legs look frightening, have two powerful toes with horny growth. It performs approximately the same function as a horse hoof. See what the ostrich legs look like in the photo below.
We should also talk about feathers and down. This is a valuable raw material. On the body of the bird, the feather grows evenly, curls slightly and fizz. Neck, head and chest - no feathers. An adult male has black body color and white wings and tail. But the female does not look so presentable - she is brown with a grayish tinge, and the tail feathers and wings, not snow-white, but a dirtier white shade.
Features of running
Due to the constant danger in the wild, ostriches have to keep a close eye on whether there is any danger somewhere near. The vision of these birds is excellent, and as soon as the threat looms on the horizon, African runner birds take off, accelerating to 70 km / h, and their steps can reach 4 meters! If necessary, the ostrich will change the trajectory of movement, even without slowing down. Already on reaching the age of one month, ostriches can reach speeds of up to 50 km per hour.
Reproduction and offspring
Monogamy is a distinctive ostrich sign. They choose a mate for a long time, breed young together. However, there may be several females and one adult male in the family. The strongest female blows eggs first, she puts them in the middle of the nest and hatches. The same female becomes a male couple, and the rest he only fertilizes. In order to protect his "lady" from the encroachments of other individuals, a gentleman is able to outrun a territory of 15 km and drive all rivals out of other packs!
The closer to the time of mating, the more active the male behaves. The color of his legs changes, he hisses and in every way attracts attention. It can also make a pipe sound, like a roar. After laying eggs, female individuals hatch them during the day, vigilantly monitoring the integrity of their nest, and males at night. After a period of incubation (from 35 to 45 days), the chicks are born. Below you can see a photo of an ostrich.
The little ones themselves break the super-durable shell with their beak, resting their legs on the opposite wall of the egg. In order to finally break the shell of the egg, the chick beats the nape of it with all its might. Because of this, all babies are born with cones on the back of their heads, but they quickly disappear. Cubs already have a downy layer, they can move around and eat on their own. Already on the second day of life, newborns go along with the father-ostrich in search of food.
By the second month, young feathers appear, painted in the same color as female adult individuals. In male representatives of the herd, feathers blacken only by the second year of life. Sexual maturity comes at the age of 2 to 4 years. These birds live for about 75 years. The photo below shows an adult ostrich.
- An African inhabitant eats about 3.5 kg of feed per day;
- These birds have no teeth, so they swallow small stones so that the food digests better;
- Like camels, African “runners” can tolerate thirst perfectly, but love to swim very much;
- One blow of an ostrich leg can seriously damage the head of a lion or even kill an animal;
- An adult ostrich can easily carry a person on horseback;
- Now birds are bred mainly because of meat and skin, as well as because of feathers;
- There is almost no cholesterol in ostrich meat;
- The thickness of the egg shell is 0.6 cm;
- When collecting a pen, they do not pull it out, but cut it closer to the base, so as not to harm;
- The feather is taken from individuals older than 2 years, otherwise the feather is considered to be of poor quality.