The ostrich is known as the largest flightless bird. Usually, these birds are commonly found in Africa. The scientific name of the ostrich is Struthio Camelus.
Most of the male birds are black in color with white plumes at the tail and wings. Females are brown. The small head and most parts of the neck are reddish to bluish.
They have powerful thighs and bare legs. Ostriches have beautiful big brown eyes with thick black lashes. Their bills are short and wide.
How big do ostriches get?
On average, the male ostriches can be approximately 9 feet or 2.75 meters tall. The neck covers half of the height. These birds get sexually matured at two to four years.
During this period, the males can grow in between 2.1 to 2.8 m or 6ft 11 in – 9ft 2 in height.
The females are smaller in size. During their sexual maturity, they can range from 1.7 to 2.0 m or 5 ft 7 into 6 ft 7 in.
Newborn babies grow approximately 25 cm or 9.8 in per month. Chicks are fawn-colored with dark brown spots.
Egg of ostrich:
The ostrich’s egg can be as big as 150 mm or 6 inches (length) by 125 mm or 5 inches (diameter). Ostrich’s eggs are considered the largest eggs.
The weight of the eggs can be approximately 3 pounds or 1.35 kg. The color of the eggs is whitish and shiny.
Approximately, 40 days are required for the eggs to hatch. Males watch the eggs during the night, and females take care of them during the day.
Other body parts
The amazing part is that the long necks and legs of these beautiful birds help in keeping their head up to 9 ft that is 2.8 m above the ground.
Again, their eyes are 50 mm or 2.0 in diameter. This size is considered to be the largest. That’s why they can see their predators even from a great distance.
Comparing to their huge size, the head and bill are relatively small. The measurement of the bill is between 12 to 14.3 cm which is 4.7 to 5.6 in.
Health profile, weight, and growth rate of ostrich:
A one-year-old baby ostrich can weigh up to 45 kg that is 99 lb.
Adult male ostrich:
An adult male ostrich can weigh over 150 kg that is 330 pounds. Common ostriches normally weigh in between 63 to 145 kilograms that are 139 to 320 lbs. You can say the weight is equivalent to one to two adult humans.
These ostriches are found in East Africa. The male birds weigh approximately 115 kg or 254 lb. The female birds weigh approximately 100 kg or 220 lb.
North African ostrich:
The unsexed adult birds weigh approximately 111 kg or 245 lb. The exceptional male ostriches are found to weigh up to 156.8 kg or 346 lb.
Lifespan of ostrich:
They can live up to 40 to 45 years.
Physical appearance of ostriches:
The skin color of ostriches varies based on subspecies. Some have dark or light gray colors.
Again, some have reddish or pinkish skin. Their legs are unfeathered. The tarsus is covered in scales. The male’s tarsus is red and the female’s tarsus is black.
A common ostrich’s tarsus is the largest that measures between 39 to 53 cm (15 to 21 in).
Ostriches have two toes on each foot. The larger toe has a nail. The inner toe resembles a hoof. There is no nail on the outer hoe. These kinds of toes help the birds to run faster.
Common ostriches can run at a speed of approximately 70 km/h that is 43 mph covering 9.8 to 16 ft or 3 to 5 m in a single stride.
Their wings can measure approximately 2 meters or 6 ft 7 in. The measurement of the wing chord is 90 cm or 35 in.
The sternum of a common ostrich is flat. It lacks the keel. Besides, their beaks are flat, broad, and has a rounded tip. This bird doesn’t have any crop and gallbladder.
The astonishing fact is that ostriches have three stomachs. The size of the caecum is 71 cm or 28 in.
Ostriches can secrete urine separately.
The eyes of these birds are naturally guarded against sunlight from above. They have the capability of storing feces in their terminal rectum.
Moreover, ostriches have pubic bones that help in holding their gut. Male ostriches possess a 20 cm that is 8 in the long retractable copulatory organ.
The sphenoid and palatal bones are not connected in ostriches, and their palate is different from other ratites.
Largest subspecies of ostrich:
The red-necked ostrich or Barbary ostrich or North African ostrich is considered the largest subspecies. These ostriches are 2.74 m or 9.0 ft in height.
They weigh approximately 340 lb or 154 kgs. Their necks are pinkish-red. The male birds’ plumage is black and white, and the females’ plumage is grey.
The largest living birds can live up to 50 years in captivity and also in the wild. They use their powerful legs to defend themselves against enemies.
Besides, they have the capability to kick with their strong legs. They can run up to 40 miles approx. per hour.
In the last 200 years, the population of ostriches has declined. However, the birds form bisexual groups. The territorial males compete for 3 to 5 hens. The males frighten other males by making hisses and noises.
In some areas, the ostriches use communal nests for holding 15 to 60 eggs. They do this activity after dividing into mating groups.
Related Read: Why Do Ostriches Lay Unfertilized Eggs? How Often?
Do ostriches get ill?
As per reports, certain diseases are found to affect ostriches. These are Campylobacter Jejuni, Chlamydia Psittaci, Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, Spongiform Encephalopathy, Anthrax, Pasteurella Multocida, Newcastle Disease Virus, Mycoplasma Spp, Encephalomyelitides, Wesselsbron disease, Coronavirus infection, Adenovirus infection, and Bursal disease (Type 2).
Considering ostrich size, it is known as the biggest bird in the world. These marathon champs of the avian world can maintain a 30 mph pace for approximately 10 miles.