Life on the earth is a day-to-day challenge for all living beings. While humans find their ways easier, animals and birds are subjected to more challenges in recent times.
Ostriches are one of the strangest, most, enormous, and fastest bipedal creatures with a unique appearance. They are prominently found in sandy and drier regions of Africa.
Considering the size and aggressive nature of the ostrich bird, we can recognize their evolution from dinosaurs as avian species.
The flightless bird has billiard ball-sized eyes even more significant than its brain size among the land vertebrate.
With their robust, long, and muscular legs, the flightless birds can cover 8 to 16 feet (up to 5 meters) in a single stride instead of flying in the skies and running at 70 mph to escape from their predator.
In the early 20th century, ostrich plumage was a fashion statement and luxurious, even costing nearly diamonds.
During mating season, male birds use their striking black-and-white feathers to attract light brown female birds.
There are two species of ostriches in existence – The Common ostriches and the Somali ostriches. They were categorized very recently, to keep the Somali ostriches distinct from the common ones.
Ostriches are diurnal and have an impressive lifespan longer than any other avian species on the earth.
How long do ostriches live?
In the wild, ostriches live an average lifespan ranging between 30 to 40 years, depending on their living habitat and the food habits they intake.
Their lifespan varies according to the vegetation and habitat they live in. Ostriches are typically herbivorous species that consume plants, seeds, and flowers.
However, they occasionally feed on lizards and insects based on their availability. For the ostriches to live healthier and longer, they need the right food available in their habitat.
This incredible speedy bird can weigh up to 320 pounds (145 kilograms) and grow up to 2.8 meters tall ( 9 feet) approximately. However, the significant sizable portion is devoted to their muscular, solid legs.
The alpha or dominant female bird (hen) mates with an attractive territorial male, and the other female birds usually mate with that same male or wandering single male.
The female birds lay their eggs in the communal nest known as dump nest, which has a large capacity to hold 60 eggs at a time. Ostrich lays giant eggs about 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter and weighs up to 1.3 kilograms (3 lbs), equal to 24 chicken eggs.
In the wild, both male and female birds share their responsibility of incubation to sit on the eggs to hatch, which takes at least 42 to 46 days. At birth, ostrich chicks are more prominent than any other bird’s offspring and about the size of the adult chicken.
By six months, the offsprings reach their full-grown height nearly as large as adult birds and travel along with their parents. Finally, at 3 to 4 years, offspring matures.
Both the common and the Somali ostriches have an average lifespan ranging from 50 to 75 years.
Related Read: Do Ostriches Live In The Desert?
How long do ostriches live without water?
The Ostriches have a remarkable ability to tolerate warm climates and can live up to almost two weeks without drinking water. They receive their necessary water supply from the plants they intake.
Ostriches drink a little amount of water and survive for an extended period. Ostriches scoop water from the water bodies or holes and fill their gular pouches. When they become thirsty, they lift their heads to let water flow from the gular pouch into their throats.
Another exciting characteristic of fearless birds is that they are fond of water. So whenever they get an opportunity, they play and get wet with flocks in water.
The Blue-necked Somali ostriches live in the driest regions of Africa and survive without water for up to two weeks.
Related Read: Do Ostriches Eat Stones, Pebbles, And Rocks?
What diet does an ostrich follow to live long years?
Ostriches are typically herbivorous but eat whatever they see on their way. Their diet contains vegetation, plant products (roots, seeds, and leaves), and insects. Sometimes they prey on small creatures like snakes, lizards, rodents, and insects.
The flightless birds don’t have teeth, and they usually swallow their food without grinding. Instead, they consume sand, small rocks, and pebbles to break down their ingested food in their gizzards.
Ostriches live in grassy and open environments to efficiently run and escape from threats and predators. In open space, an ostrich can easily outrun their threats with solid and long legs.
Because of its grinding ability, they occasionally eat meat and flesh that the animals cannot digest. They won’t stop eating in their traveling time and eat whatever they find.
Ostriches live in flocks containing 5 to 50 birds, and often they will graze among zebras, gnus, and antelopes.
The Somali ostriches are very few in numbers, as they are extensively hunted for their eggs and leather.
Related Read: Do Ostriches Live In Zoos?
How long do ostriches live in captivity?
With a proper diet and care, the ostrich can live up to 75 years and matches the life expectancy of humans in captivity. However, they live typically around 50 years minimum without any health issues and continue to breed until they attain old age.
Farmers need to provide a minimum of 3.5 kilograms of food per day for one ostrich in captivity. In addition, it’s a little expensive to breed an ostrich on a farm and has more hidden dangers because of its aggressive nature.
Besides, in their living biozone, people breed ostriches as domestic and farm animals.
Moreover, many people like to eat their flesh, protein-rich eggs, which have up to 200 calories needed for a single adult woman for a day.
Finally, people want to wear fashionable products made from fascinating ostrich feathers, and hence they are bred extensively.