- Standing 10 feet tall and weighing as much as 400 pounds, the ostrich is the largest living bird today.
- Its powerful legs enable it to hit a top speed of 43 mph in a short burst and it has been known to kill with one kick.
- Ostriches originated in the Asiatic steppes about 40 to 50 million years ago.
- They once occupied all of Eurasia and Africa, but today can only be found on the hot arid savannas of Africa.
- Ostriches eat mainly vegetation, insects, fruits, seeds, and nuts, but will occasionally feed on small mammals and reptiles.
- A male will mate with several females, pair bonding with a dominant female.
The eggs of all the females in the harem are laid in a communal nest, where both the male and female take turns incubating the clutch.
- The ostrich lays the largest egg in the world but it is the smallest egg compared to the size of the bird. Measuring 6 - 9 inches long and weighing 3 - 5 pounds it is only about 1 per cent of the hens body weight. The eggs, numbering 30-50 per communal nest, incubate for 42 days.
- The ostrich egg is highly prized for its high protein content and is the equivalent of 24 chicken eggs and takes up to 2 hours to hard boil. An un-blown egg can take the weight of an adult without cracking.
- Ostrich farming is a rapidly-growing industry. Ostrich meat is lower in fat, calories, and cholesterol than skinless chicken.
- Ostriches do not put their heads in the sand!