About Emu Birds

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Emus are the second-largest living bird.

Emu birds are the world's second-largest living birds. Like ostriches, they come from the ratite family of flightless birds. They are native to Australia, but they have been imported to Europe and North America for zoos and for farming purposes.

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  1. History

    • According to Emu Facts, the emu may date back to prehistoric times. They may have been present in the Australian outback around 80 million years ago. Between 1930 and 1950, zoos and farmers in the United States imported emus, but the practice ended when the Australian government banned the export of the birds.

    Size

    • When they are first hatched, emu chicks are around 10 inches tall. Adult emus stand between 5 and 6 feet tall and weigh between 90 and 120 pounds.

    Features

    • When they are very young chicks, emus have back and white stripes. Around the age of 3 months, they molt and turn almost entirely black. When they are adults, they tend to have a combination of black, brown and tan feathers. Some adults have a bluish sheen to their necks. Their feathers are soft and fluffy, with no central vein.

    Reproduction

    • According to Emu Facts, the female emu produces one emerald green egg every three days between October and April, and she may produce between 20 and 50 eggs per season. The eggs will be incubated for 48 to 52 days. Chicks can begin running in a matter of days after hatching. They develop their adult feathers at the age of 6 months and reach full height within a year.

    Habitat

    • Emus prefer to live in woodlands or shrub-covered land, avoiding deep forests and areas where there are many humans. They prefer to live close to water and tend to stay away from arid regions. Their habitat must provide them with a rich supply of insects, fruits and seeds.

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References

  • Photo Credit emu image by Petra Kohlstädt from Fotolia.com

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