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Facts about ostriches

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Ostrich

When threatened ostriches run although their powerful, long legs can be formidable weapons, capable of killing a human or a potential predator like a lion with a forward kick.
Facts about ostriches
The flightless ostrich is the world’s largest bird.
Ostriches have three stomachs.
Unlike all other living birds, the ostrich secretes urine separately from faeces.
Ostriches are the fast runners of any birds or other two-legged animal and can sprint at over 70 km/hr, covering up to 5m in a single stride.
Ostriches’ running is aided by having just two toes on each foot (most birds have four), with the large nail on the larger, inner toe resembling a hoof.
Ostriches’ wings reach a span of about 2 metres and are used in mating displays, to shade chicks, to cover the naked skin of the upper legs and flanks to conserve heat, and as “rudders” to help them change direction while running.
When threatened ostriches run although their powerful, long legs can be formidable weapons, capable of killing a human or a potential predator like a lion with a forward kick.
Ostriches normally spend the winter months in pairs or alone and during breeding season and sometimes during extreme rainless periods they live in nomadic ‘herds’ of five to 50 birds led by a top hen, that often travel together with other grazing animals, such as zebras or antelopes.
Territorial fights between males for a harem of two to seven females usually last just minutes, but they can easily cause death through slamming their heads into opponents.
Ostriches perform a complex mating ritual consisting of the cock alternating wing beats until he attracts a mate, when they will go to the mating area and he will drive away all intruders. They graze until their behaviour is synchronized, then the feeding becomes secondary and the process takes on a ritualistic appearance. The cock will then excitedly flap alternate wings again, and start poking on the ground with his bill. He will then violently flap his wings to symbolically clear out a nest in the dirt. Then, while the hen runs circle around him with lowered wings, he will wind his head in a spiral motion. She will drop to the ground and he will mount for copulation.
All of the herd’s hens place their eggs in the dominant hen’s 3m-wide nest, though her own are given the prominent centre place; each female can determine her own eggs amongst others.

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