Make emus good pets

Wanted poster Emu
size1.5 to 1.9 m
speedup to 40 km / h
Weight30-45 kg
lifespan12-20 years
nutritionPlants, seeds, insects
EnemiesWild dogs, birds of prey
habitatAustralia
orderRatites
familyDromaiidae
Scientific SurnameDromaius novaehollandiae
featuresbig body, big eyes

Just like ostrich, rhea, cassowary and kiwi, the emu is one of the so-called ratites. As the name suggests, these can run very well and quickly. However, none of them can fly because they are simply too big and heavy - or have wings that are too small (like the kiwi).

Emus lay dark green eggs

Bird eggs are not always white or brown. In the case of the emus, they are dark green and as large as the entire palm of the hand including the fingers.

Emu - Photo: chbaum / Shutterstock

Do emus have feathers ... or hair?

Most birds have feathers that grow from a single root. It's different with emu. Feathers with two (!) Quills grow from its "hair" roots. Because these hang down relatively limply, the emu looks like it has hair. But he doesn't have to go to the hairdresser.

The emu and its name

Because the emu lives in Australia, it is likely that the word emu comes from the indigenous people, the Aborigines. In fact, emu is an old Arabic word for "big bird".

Emus have strong hind legs

The emu is the only bird to have calf muscles that resemble those of mammals. This enables them to make jumps of over 2 m! The question is: do emus get sore muscles?

Emu Egg - Photo: Curioso / Shutterstock

Nest maintenance with the emus

Females emu typically lay between 5 and 15 eggs and then move on to lay more eggs. What happens? Are the eggs unguarded? Fortunately, the male emus are very caring fathers.

As soon as the eggs tumble into the nest, they no longer eat or drink so that they can guard and incubate the nest around the clock. For 8 weeks!

By the time the chicks hatch, the father has usually lost a third of his weight. After 6 months the little ones are fully grown.

Twin chicks

It is well known that twin births occur not only in humans but also in mammals. In the bird world, however, these are very unusual. The emu is the first bird that has been shown to produce identical twin chicks.

Emu - Photo: Curioso / Shutterstock

Emus have countless fans in Australia

In Australia, more than 600 places are named after the emu: mountains, lakes, rivers, cities, beers, magazines and much more.

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Emu - Photo: clearviewstock / Shutterstock