A question that has tormented many since childhood: why does an ostrich hide its head in the sand? In our article you will see photos and videos showing how these birds actually behave and whether or not the ostrich is trying to hide its head in the ground.
Is it true that ostriches hide their heads and why do they do it?
During the time of the Roman Empire there lived a famous philosopher and scientist Pliny the Elder. It was because of his initial delusion that a certain aphorism was formed that ostriches hide their heads in the sand. Pliny the elder wrote that the ostrich buries his head and part of the neck in the ground in order to feel safe. The philosopher was deeply mistaken, and then we will tell why this happened.
Myth 1 - the ostrich is afraid and therefore it buries itself in the sand.
If you have ever seen an ostrich live or in a photo, then you can perfectly imagine its dimensions and power. He is afraid of perhaps annoying attention, but not enemies. Of course, in the wild, it is sometimes pursued by large predators. However, the feathered is able to run at the speed of a car traveling on the highway (70 km / h), therefore it is rarely in danger. Thus, the bird will not exactly bury itself in the sand.
But after a long chase the bird can really drastically lower its neck headlong to the ground. This is because the feathered runner spends a lot of effort on jogging at high speed, and such a break with the head and neck tilted down allows him to restore energy in 10-15 minutes. We were convinced that the question "why the ostrich hides its head in the sand" is incorrectly worded and worded. The photo above clearly shows that the emu just tilted his head low, but did not dig into the ground.
Myth 2 - ostriches sleep, buried his head in the sand
Why should an ostrich block their air? After all, this is what he will do if it is buried in any ground. In fact, the bird breathes oxygen in the same way as an animal or a man, and under a layer of sand one cannot breathe. This is the second most popular myth that has arisen on the basis that the ostrich is sleeping, bowing its head to the ground. In addition, it is pressed against the surface of the earth to be more imperceptible to savanna predators, so this myth is also incorrect. In the next photo you can watch the female spread her wings while sitting on the ground.
Myth 3 - digging into the sand, the bird is looking for insects
Insects can be searched for and on the surface, therefore, there is no need to dig in. And why, because ostriches have excellent eyesight, and they can see beetles with worms in the midst of vegetation very quickly. But in order to get bugs, a tall bird has to work. She leans lower, looks out for insects and eats them. Unlucky tourists probably think that the bird is disguised. Nothing like this! At the slightest danger, she runs away, not even thinking to stand and be afraid. The funny video below shows how fast a bird can run.
Some interesting facts about ostrich habits:
- these large birds intentionally eat pebbles, small pebbles and sand, so that the rough food in the stomach is digested faster;
- his brain is really smaller than his eye;
- while running, the size of the ostrich step can reach up to 4 meters;
- the direction of the run changes as rapidly as the bird starts off, i.e. the ostrich does not brake when cornering;
- teenage chicks running a little slower than their parents, but also not weak - the speed reaches 50 km / h;
- The air of the savanna is so hot that the effect of its “melting” is often observed, and therefore the ostrich's neck can “disappear” in a magical way;