Ostriches are known the world over for their unique and striking physical appearance and their inability to fly. However, it’s inability to fly is overshadowed by the their sheer speed and power: They are by far the largest bird in the world and has extremely powerful legs that allows it to sprint at speeds of up to 60kph. They regularly weigh in at an impressive 140 to 320lb and stand up to 9 ft tall. Males are coloured black white white wings and tail feathers while the females are a brownish to grey colour. The Ostrich is an adaptable grazer that lives off grasses, berries, seeds as well as insects and small reptiles. However they need a source of fresh water in order to survive and so their favoured habitats are semi-arid plains and woodlands near a water source. Interestingly, a male ostrich will escort a flock comprised of one head/dominant female, and a few subordinate females. They then all lay their eggs in the same nest, while the male plays a huge part in raising the young by helping to build the nest and guarding the eggs while chasing off any predator that tries to hunt the young. Ostriches also have an interesting way of trying to deter potential predators by being able to let out a type of roaring sound similar to that of lions. Today, despite the many predators it has to contend with – such as lions, humans, cheetahs, leopards, hunting dogs and spotted hyenas – it is found all across Africa from Senegal to Kenya with the exception of central Africa. This is partly due to it’s very short gestation period of only 35-45 days, so they can repopulate very quickly.
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