Ostriches are truly unique creatures with distinctive bodily features and exceptional capabilities. We all know that they are the world’s largest birds and that their brains are smaller than their eyeballs. However, ostriches have many more interesting traits that are not popularly known. Everything from their eyelashes to their wingspan is pretty impressive. Here are some interesting facts about the ostrich.
Ostriches have long, thick eyelashes. Ever wondered why? These eyelashes are strong enough to withstand aggressive sandstorms. This is an evolutionary trait that was developed over centuries that helped the birds to survive in a semi-arid habitat where sandstorms are common.
Their long legs are built for speed. They can sprint at an impressive rate of 45 miles per hour. They have two toes, unlike other birds that have three or four toes. One of the toes acts as a hoof that improves their speed. If you see any of these birds running towards you, run. Not because they are scary, but because whatever chasing them is. They run the fastest when they are fleeing a predator.
One of the amazing facts about ostrich wings is that they are unbelievably large for a bird that doesn’t even fly. They have a wingspan that is over 6 feet long! They utilise their long wings to maintain their balance when they run and to fend off attackers. These large wings also come in handy during their mating ritual where they dance to assert their dominance over potential mates. The best “wing”-men get the girls for themselves.
TEETH (or the lack thereof)-
One of the fun facts about ostriches is that they are omnivores that eat everything from roots and seeds to lizards and insects. They are able to do this without any teeth! To digest their food properly, they swallow small rocks to break down the food. They also have three stomachs and intestines to help them digest food better. Who needs teeth when you can swallow rocks?
While you are recovering from the shock induced by the previous fact, these folks are recovering from everything. Their survival skills are quite admirable. They can survive several days without drinking water. They have grown accustomed to harsh and unforgiving conditions where water is scarce. They are capable of raising their body temperature and limiting water loss.
When these birds are provoked, someone might end up flying and it is definitely not the ostrich! As you could have guessed by the previous facts, these birds are more powerful than what they give away. They could kill a human with a mere kick. Ostriches tend to strike with a forward kick when they need to defend themselves from a supposed threat. However, ostriches generally do not attack humans unless they sense hostility.
EsselWorld Bird Park is India’s first interactive bird park that actively works for the conservation of birds and to help spread awareness about their risks of endangerment and extinction. We house ostriches and help them thrive in an environment that is similar to their habitat. We also house other terrestrial birds such as golden pheasant, guinea fowl and California quail. Click here to learn more about these birds.