This article thrashes out some of the imperative ostrich facts for kids that are rarely known. Basically ostrich is a flightless bird specie that belongs to Africa and is also considered to be the only largest living flightless bird. Being the member of genus Struthio, these birds are believed to be the largest living birds on earth. It is estimated that several species are deemed to exist in different parts of the world; including Somalia ostrich which is referred to as the full species; however, a few taxonomists disagree with the opinion. These largest birds fairly resembles with emus or ratites. Ostriches have long history in that it dates back to 5,000 years old in Egypt when people used it for several purposes; riding is one of them. In the mid 19thcentury ostriches were at the verge of extinction. The birds are also frequently used for commercial purposes in that its skin is applied to make leather products. Apart from its skin usage, ostrich feathers are also helpful in making any decorative product. Ostriches do not conceal their heads while hiding from their enemies, this is a false perception.
Ostrich Facts for Kids
- Ostrich has a distinctive appearance with a long neck and long legs unlike any other bird.
- Ostrich can run at 70 km/hr (43 mph) with the help of its long legs. This is unarguably the fastest speed recorded in any bird species.
- The size of the ostrich eggs is notable i.e. the length of around 15 cm (5.9 in), along with the width of 13 cm (5.1 in); the weight of the eggs is 1.4 kg (3.1 lb) which is twenty-times heavier than the chicken’s egg.
- The weight of the ostriches is about 60 to 130 kg (140-290 lb). The males are healthier with a weight of 156.8 kg (346 lbs).
- Ostrich males have black feathers together with a white tail.
- Female ostriches and younger ones have light brown feathers.
- There is no hair on the neck or head of ostriches with the exception of very thin layer.
- The color of the females’ skin and thighs is pinkish whereas the males have grayish color skin.
- Thanks to the long neck that keeps their head 1.8 to 2.75 metres (6 to 9 ft) on top of the ground, with significant eyes which is believed to be the largest in any vertebrate.
- Ostrich facts illustrates that the size of the eye is 50 millimetres (2.0 in) in diameter.
- With the help of its large shady eyes it can clearly detect its prey no matter.
- Each foot has only two toes together with a big nail on the inner toe. There is no nail on the outer toe. Normally birds have four toes but ostrich has only two for the reason that it runs a lot faster which would not be possible otherwise.
- These birds can retain their speed at 70 km for about 30 minutes which is really amazing.
- The wingspan of ostrich is about 2 metres (7 ft).
- There are about 50 to 60 tail feathers and wings have 20 to 25 secondary feathers.
- Ostriches have flat beak with the rounded-shaped tip.
- There is no gallbladder in ostriches just like ratites.
- Ostriches have three stomachs with the 71 cm (28 in) long caecum.
- The height of male ostriches is about 1.8 – 2.8 metres (5 ft 11 in to 9 ft 2 in).
- The height of the female is 1.7 – 2 metres (5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 7 in).
- The height of chicks in their first month is about 25 cm (10 in).
- After one year of their birth these birds weigh about 45 kg (100 lb).
- The average lifespan of ostriches is around 30 – 40 years.
- The incubation period (sitting on the egg) lasts from 30 – 40 days.
- Just like other birds ostriches do not like to be approached by humans rather they run away when confronted; however, when cornered they can be dangerous.
- The length of the legs is 3 feet to 6 feet.
- These birds prefer to stay in small herds.
Ostrich Behavior | Facts about Ostriches For Kids
I have listed below a few essential ostrich facts for kids related to their behavior:
- Ostriches have not extraordinary sights but are slightly greater than the ordinary birds i.e. 16% of the normal birds.
- One of the strange ostrich facts is that they do not travel alone for breeding rather the travelling takes place with grazing animals like zebras.
- Ostriches are believed to be energetic in the moonlight; however, occasionally these vigorous birds also become active at dusk.
- The territory of male ostriches is around 2 – 20 km (0.77 and 7.7 sq mi).
- Ostriches can easily locate their predators with the help of their sensitive eyesight and hearing senses.
- Their predators have to reach the speed of 70 km to catch them.
- These birds have strange hiding techniques in that they tend to drop down their heads on the ground to secrete themselves from the predators.
- Without the shadow of doubt, ostrich is believed to be the fastest two-legged runner in the birds’ world
- Ostrich can kick out the predators with their strong legs.
- Ostriches fight normally lasts for few minutes but can be deathly.
- The depth of the nest is 30 – 60 cm (12 – 24 in) with the width of 3 metres (9.8 ft)
- The size of the ostriches’ brain is small as compared to the skull.
Ostrich Diet and Feeding Facts
- The seeds, grass, shrubs, fruits and flowers form the essential part of the ostrich diet.
- Ostriches rarely eat small insects such as locusts.
- These large birds are capable to gulp pebbles which act as the basic ingredients for digesting.
- Ostrich are adept enough to carry 1 kg (2.2 lb) of stones in their stomach.
- They usually fill up their gullets with food while eating.
- The pebbles help in digesting the food properly.
- Another remarkable attribute of ostriches is that they can live without water for quite a few numbers of days.
- Ostriches are strong enough to survive in any temperature with the ability to bear 40o C (72o F).
- The wings are normally come into play while fighting against the temperature.
- Apart from the plants, these birds also accomplish their diet by eating invertebrates.
Ostrich Reproduction Facts | Facts about Ostriches For Kids
- In comparison to the males, females get mature 6 months earlier.
- The mating season lasts from March to September, even though it significantly varies from region to region.
Predators of Ostrich
The predators that take them down too often are embedded below:
- African Hunting Dogs
Ostrich fossils found around the world are listed below:
- Struthio Coppensi (Namibia)
- Struthio Linxiaensis (China)
- Struthio Orlovi (Moldavia)
- Struthio Kakesiensis (Tanzania)
- Struthio Karingarabensis (Africa)
- Struthio Wimani (Mongolia)
- Struthio Deberansis (Namibia)
Ostrich Species | Interesting Facts about Ostriches For Kids
While marveling through the ostrich facts, following subspecies come to the fore:
- Common Ostrich (S. struthio) complex’:
- S. c. australis, Southern Ostrich
- S. c. camelus, North African Ostrich, or Red-necked Ostrich, North Africa
- S. c. massaicus, Masai Ostrich, East Africa
- S. c. syriacus, Arabian Ostrich or Middle Eastern Ostrich, Middle East
Ostrich Facts For Kids – Videos
I hope you have enjoyed these ostrich facts for kids.