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Ostrich (Struthio Camelus)
The Ostrich is the largest bird currently in the world, some male being recorded up to 9 ft tall. They are among the Ratite family, a family of large, flightless birds. Other species within the family are the Cassowary and the Emu, the second largest birds in the family and the Kiwi, the smallest of the family. There have been larger birds in history, but they are now extinct and most, if not all, of the Ratite birds, are nearly endangered or have made the endangered species list.
Ostrich chicks for sale by the pair
Ostrich for sale
A flightless bird? It's believed that the Ratite family of birds evolved post-dinosaur extinction when there would have been few predators they'd need to fly away from. Which species they evolved from, if any, remains a mystery. They are not without defense, though. These birds can run like no other, running at 40 mph and having up to 16-foot strides. It's seemingly pointless wings actually keeps its balance, spread out while running. An Ostrich's legs and kick are also its main self-defense when something of threat comes close to them, using enough force to kill a lion or even a person. Most Ratites have three toes and a claw in the middle toe for self-defense, but the Ostrich does not. Its only got two toes, the inner of them much like a hoof that assists in causing damage with its kick. Its eyes are the largest of living land mammals and can see its predators from far away. Because of its camouflage coloring, it can lay in and blend right in with the sand, looking as though it's buried everything but its head.
All mating rituals are different among the Ratite family of species. The Ostrich travels in herds with up to 12 other Ostriches. Each herd has a dominant male and female who mainly only mate together, although the male may occasionally mate with others. All the females in the herd will lay their eggs in the dominant female's nest and together, the dominant couple will incubate and protect their 3-pound eggs!
In their natural habitats, Ostriches mostly eat plants and insects. They have three stomachs but still require eating stones to help digest their food. They can go several days without water, utilizing moisture found in the contents of their diet. Provided water is available, they enjoy drinking and bathing in it.
Although there is bountiful information regarding the raising of Ostrich and they are a common farming practice among parts of Africa today for their meat and other products, it's commonly stated that more research and observation should be done regarding their needs and social behaviors in captivity. Their populations have sharply declined, but are still considered "of least concern" with an approximate population of 2 million worldwide. Other products they are farmed and famed for include their feathers, that at one time worn was a symbol of status and is still used to make feather dusters to this day, their eggs, and skin/leathers for shoes, clothing and other wearables.