Cassowaries are amongst the most ancient birds on earth. They belong to the Ratite Family like the Emu, Ostrich, Rhea and Kiwi. They are fruit-eating (frugivore) animals that disperse over a hundred species of rainforest trees and vines. Therefore, this "Rainforest gardener" … [Read more...]
Ratites are a group of flightless birds that include the ostrich, emu, cassowary, and rhea. They are all native to the Southern Hemisphere and have characteristic flat breast bones that prevent them from flying. Ratites are generally large birds, and the ostrich is the largest living bird in the world.
The ostrich is the largest and heaviest living bird. It is also the fastest land animal over short distances, able to reach speeds of up to 70 km/h (45 mph). The cassowary is the second-heaviest living bird, while the rhea is the third-heaviest. All ratites are native to the Southern Hemisphere, with the ostrich being widespread across Africa, the cassowary in New Guinea, and the emu and rhea in South America.
The flat breastbone of ratites lacks the keel to which flight muscles attach in flying birds, so they are unable to fly. This is an adaptation to their environments; for example, the ostrich lives in open country where there are no trees to perch in or hide from predators. Flightlessness has evolved independently in several different ratite lineages.
The word "ratite" comes from the Latin ratis, meaning "raft".
The Ostrich (Struthio camelus - meaning 'camel-like') is the world's largest flightless bird which is native to the savannas and grasslands of South Africa. It has also been introduced to Australia. The ostrich is a member of the ratite (which means flightless bird) family of … [Read more...]
Emu The Emu is a large, tough flightless bird found in many parts of Australia and New Guinea. It is Australia's largest bird and the only member of the Genus: Dromaius.The Emu is the second largest bird in the world, the largest being the similar looking, Ostrich. Although … [Read more...]