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The word "animal" comes from the Latin word animale, neuter of animalis, and is derived from anima, meaning vital breath or soul. In everyday colloquial usage, the word usually refers to non-human animals. The biological definition of the word refers to all members of the Kingdom Animalia. Therefore, when the word "animal" is used in a biological context, humans are included.
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About Ostrich / Struthio camelus

Posted by WishbonE at 1:15 AM

Friday, November 14, 2008

About Ostrich

Ostrich Profile:
Type: Bird
Diet: Omnivore
Average lifespan in the wild: 30 to 40 years
Size: 7 to 9 ft (2.1 to 2.7 m)
Weight: 220 to 350 lbs (100 to 160 kg)
Group name: Herd
Did you know? The ostrich has the largest eye of any land animal. Its eye measures almost two inches (five centimeters) across.

The world's largest living bird, Ostrich (Struthio camelus) is a flightless bird and roam African savanna and desert lands and get most of their water from the plants they eat, they also eat insects, roots, seeds, lizards, or other creatures available in their sometimes harsh habitat. Ostriches ar nomadic groups which contain between five and 50 birds. When threatened, the Ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or will run away. If cornered, it can cause injury and death with a kick from its powerful legs, each two-toed foot has a long, sharp claw. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females.

Ostriches usually weigh from 93 to 130 kg (200 to 285 lb), although some male ostriches have been recorded with weights of up to 155 kg (340 lb). The feathers of adult males are mostly black, with white at the ends of the wings and in the tail. Females and young males are greyish-brown and white. The head and neck of both male and female Ostriches is nearly bare, but has a thin layer of down. They have excellent eyesight and acute hearing are the ostrich's most important senses. Like a giraffe the ostrich is an important sentinel for many African grazing mammals such as antelopes, zebras, giraffes and gazelles.

Ostriches live in small herds that typically contain less than a dozen birds. Alpha males maintain these herds, and mate with the group's dominant hen. The male sometimes mates with others in the group, and wandering males may also mate with lesser hens. All of the group's hens place their eggs in the dominant hen's nest—though her own are given the prominent center place. The dominant hen and male take turns incubating the giant eggs, each one of which weighs as much as two dozen chicken eggs. Ostriches are polygamous. The eggs are almost spherical in shape, about 6 inches long and equivalent in volume to about 20 hens' eggs. Such a clutch laid on open ground presents a significant meal to a jackal, the dominant predator. Only about half of the ostrich eggs that are laid hatch out. he completed clutch is incubated by the male at night and the dominant female during the day. The reason for this is that at night the dark feathers of the male ostrich makes detection by predators more difficult. Likewise, during the day the female's lighter brown feathers blend in with the surrounding grassland colors. Shortly before the eggs hatch, the chicks will start calling from inside the shell, so the parents will know them by their calls once they are hatched. The young hatch after 45 days. The chicks run about within minutes of hatching. The parents keep close watch over the chicks constantly. They will leading them to food (seeds and vegetation), water and they will provide shade for them. Even with the protection of the parents only about 1 chick in 10 will survive its first year of life. The chick becomes independent at the age of 1 year.


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