Largest and heaviest
At 2.5 m (8 ft.) tall, ostriches are the largest and heaviest birds in the world! Its significant weight, up to 145 kg (320 lb.), prohibits the bird from taking flight. But the ostrich has many unique abilities that make it well-adapted to living in the savannah, desert and open woodlands of central and southern Africa.
Don’t bury their head
The ostrich does not bury its head in the sand to hide from danger. The myth stems from the fact that the ostriches are often bending their heads down to peck at food on the ground, or to regularly turn their eggs which are partly buried in the dirt, so it looks like they are regularly hiding their heads in sand.
Small brain, large eyes
Ostrich brains are as big as a walnut and smaller than their eyes. They are not particularly intelligent, but with the largest eyeball of any bird, they can see as far as 2.2 miles (3.5 km)
Runs like a pro
The ostrich is equipped with long, muscular legs built for running. Unlike other birds, that have three or four toes, ostriches have only two toes on each foot, which allows for greater speed. They can sprint as fast as 70 km/h (43 mph) and hold steady speeds of 50 km/h (31 mph). One stride can span 3-5 m (10-16 ft.)!
Ostriches use their powerful legs to kick. With a 10-cm (4-in.) talon on each foot, their downward kicks can cause serious harm to potential predators.
Published in Dawn, Young World, December 15th, 2018