The ostrich is a flightless bird. Today it only lives in sub-Saharan Africa. He also used to live in western Asia. However, he was exterminated there. People like its feathers, flesh, and leather. Males are called roosters, females are called hens, and young are called chicks.
Male ostriches grow larger than the tallest humans and weigh almost twice as much. The females are slightly smaller and lighter. The ostrich has a very long neck and a small head, both almost without feathers.
The ostrich can run for half an hour at 50 kilometers per hour. That’s how fast cars are allowed to drive in our cities. For a short time, it even manages 70 kilometers per hour. The ostrich cannot fly. He needs his wings to keep his balance while running.
How do ostriches live?
Ostriches mostly live in the savannah, in pairs or in large groups. Everything in between is also possible and often changes. Several hundred ostriches can also meet at a water hole.
Ostriches eat mostly plants, but occasionally insects, and anything off the ground. They also swallow stones. These help them in the stomach to crush the food.
Their main enemies are lions and leopards. They run away from them or kick them with their legs. That can even kill a lion. It is not true that ostriches stick their heads in the sand.
How do ostriches have babies?
Males gather in a harem for reproduction. The ostrich mates first with the leader, then with the rest of the hens. All females lay their eggs in a single, huge depression in the sand, with the leader in the middle. There can be up to 80 eggs.
Only the leader may incubate during the day: She sits in the middle and incubates her own eggs and some others with her. The male incubates at night. When enemies come and want to eat eggs, they usually only get the eggs on the edge. That way your own eggs are more likely to survive. Enemies are mainly jackals, hyenas, and vultures.
The chicks hatch after six weeks. The parents protect them from the sun or rain with their wings. On the third day, they go for walks together. Strong couples also collect chicks from weaker couples. These are then also caught first by robbers. The own young are protected in this way. Ostriches become sexually mature at the age of two.