Monday, December 28, 2009

Ostrich

My Last Post Animals World:
The ostrich, Struthio camelus, is the largest living bird. It may stand 3 in (10 ft) tail and weigh more than 150 kg (330 lb). Although flightless, the ostrich is able to take 3.5 m (12 ft) strides and to run at a sustrained speed of 50 km/h (30 mph) for 15 minutes or more. In short bursts it may reach 70 km/h (43 mph). if cornered, it can also kick dangerously with the two ciawed toes on each of its long, featheries legs. Its long neck is sparsely covered with hairlike feathers; the head is small, with large eyes and a short, flat bill. Its body is covered with large, soft, loosely structure feathers, and its wing and tail feathers are plumelike. The female is greyish Brown; the male is black, with white wings and tail. Alone among birds, ostriches eliminate urine and feces separately.
Ostriches live in arid, open country, where they feed on plant matter as well as on occasional insects, lizards, birds, and mice. They can go for long periods without water. Osteriches commonly live in small, loosely organized flocks. Sometimes, due to fom a group of several hundred birds.

The most common mating pattern is one male and three females in a family unit. The male usually makes a nest by scraping out a depression in sandy ground. All the females lay their eggs in the same nest, and both sexes incubate the eggs. A family of females may lay from 15 to 30 eggs, but not all hatch. The eggs are larger than those of any other living bird. They may be 150 mm (6 in) long and 127 mm (5 in) wide, have a shell 1.97 mm thick, and weigh up to 1600 g (3.5 lb). The young hatch in 42 days and are able to run almost immediately. Both young and adult ostriches hide by sitting with their heads and necks streched out on the ground, which may have given rise to the erroneous belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand. Ostriches reach full size in about 6 moths but do not attain sexual maturity until 3 to 4 years of age. They may live for 30 years in the wild and much longer in captivity.

The ostrich is the only living species in the family Struthionidae and in the order Struthioniformes. It originated in the Asiatic steppes during the Eocene Epoch, 40 million to 50 million years ago, and once ranged through Asia, Europe, and Africa. Its natural range is now limited to Africa, where it is separated into four subspecies.

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