African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo

What do we know about the largest bird on the planet - ostriches? Most feasts believe in the myth that the ostrich, supposedly, with any danger, puts his head in the sand, as if it was silly it did not sound( try yourself to put your head in a pile of sand and breathe there for at least a minute).But how did

come up with such a myth, and what do these birds represent? What types of ostriches live on our planet? Why are they so called? Here we will talk about this in our article.

African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo

Content of the article:

  • 1 How much on the planet is the type of real ostriches
  • 2 Why they are so called
  • 3 Range of habitats
  • 4 Subspecies of African ostriches
  • 5 Why ostriches do not fly
  • 6 Foot features
  • 7 Bird features
  • 8 Bird or animal
  • 9 Variety of feathers
  • 10 How to distinguish males from females
  • 11 Accommodation and nutrition
  • 12 Brain and memory of ostrich
  • 13 Behavior at risk
  • 14 As attacking ostriches
  • 15 Reproduction and offspring
  • 16 Gallery of photos of ostrich and ostrich
  • -pants chicks
  • 17 Features 18 Local names ostriches
  • 19 Conclusions

How many species on the planet genuine ostrich

know, what similarity between conventional ostriches and penguins? Both those and birds are birds, but, unfortunately, they can not fly. But if the penguins live mainly in the cold regions, they feed on ice-cold water, and their eggs hatch, sitting in the snow, the ostriches are much better. These representatives of birds have chosen warm countries of Africa and Australia. Savannah and semi-desert - this is where the ostrich is African, and many other types of ostriches.

However, scientists argue that it is the African species that refers to the same "original" ostriches. All other types - to him and the nandu - are close to them in affinity, but make up a separate detachment. The same to him, for example, is faster a bird similar to an ostrich. In other words, the ostrich - the only surviving member of the ostrich family( Struthiоnidae).

Why their so-called

His Latin name - "Struthiо сamelus" - these birds have received because of the similarity with camels and sparrows. In the translation from the Greek name the species sounds like a "camel sparrow".Well, and our compatriots, especially in Latin, are not tempted, which later became known as "ceuza" "ostrich".

Range of habitats

Three hundred years ago, these birds could be seen not only in Africa, but also in Palestine, as well as in Asia Minor. Unfortunately, the predatory extermination of ostriches has led to the fact that to date the range of their habitat is "squeezed" to the savanna and semi-desert of the African continent. They live in the east, in the central part and in southwest Africa.

As for Asia, ostriches were destroyed in the middle of the last century.

Ostriches are great to run, so they prefer to live in the plains, here they have a great advantage. That is why they avoid settling in dense thickets, in the swamp or in the desert - there it is difficult to develop the maximum speed.

Subspecies of African Ostriches

Ornithologists distinguish four varieties or ostrich breeds. These include:

  • South African sub-species. In southern Africa they are bred on farms. The main difference between the subspecies is the gray neck.
  • Northern subspecies. The zone of their existence in the wilderness covers several African states in the south of the Sahara Desert. The main difference of the subspecies is the pinkish-brown neck.
  • Eastern sub-species - they are also called "pink ostrich".These birds live in Ethiopia, southern Somalia and Kenya, as well as in eastern Tanzania. In this subspecies, the neck is pink, but when the marriage occurs, the male's neck becomes red.
  • The Somali ostrich - as you can understand from the name, lives in Somalia, in southern Ethiopia, as well as in the northeastern part of Kenya. In this subspecies, the neck, and at the same time the hips have a beautiful gray-blue. However, during marriage games the neck in males of Somali ostriches also gets a pronounced red color.
  • Ostriches can occasionally be grouped into groups of up to 50 individuals, but these birds prefer to live alone. Having found a pair, the male and female stay together for many years. Ostriches are sedentary, that is, they do not roam, but prefer to live in one locality.

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo Large but weak wings do not let the ostrich

    pop up Why ostriches do not fly

    All right, these birds can not fly. Wings in them, as well as in any representatives of birds, are, but they are underdeveloped. In addition:

    • they do not have a ring;
    • very weak muscles on the chest;The
    • skeleton is not pneumatic.

    Add to this description can be as follows. The body of the ostrich has a large, we can say gigantic weight, and fly, as you know, only birds of small size. Even if the owls had normal wings, they would hardly have been able to raise in the air a carcass weighing from 70 to 135 kilograms and up to 2.7 meters high.

    Features of the feet

    Instead of the possibility of flying nature gave these birds strong and hardy legs, thanks to which they are perfectly running, sometimes gaining incredible speed - up to 65 kilometers per hour. When running on a flat terrain, an ostrich can overtake an Arabic horse, not to mention a man - in fact, the fastest runners-athletes develop a speed of no more than 30 kilometers per hour, and then only in short intervals. The ostrich can move at a maximum speed of about half an hour.

    The legs of the ostrich are in some way a unique creature. Judge for yourself.

  • They are very long and have powerful muscles. The length of the step of the ostrich in running reaches eight and a half meters.
  • There are only two fingers on the paw, while all other bird species on the planet have three or even four fingers.
  • One finger is just huge and holds practically the entire foot of the paw. In this case, he also equipped with a claws.
  • The second finger is much smaller, with no claws. The bird is not based on it, but thanks to it, the ostriches maintain balance in walking, and when running, this finger improves the grip of the legs to the ground.
  • Poultry Features

    All subspecies, whether Somali or Black African ostrich, have one very interesting natural feature. Their waste of life, in particular, feces and urine, leaves these birds not like all the other birds, in the form of a single litter, but separately, practically as humans. Ostriches are the only birds on the planet, have a complete bladder.

    They also have other features: the

    • their neck does not have a pronounced goiter, as in other birds, but it is able to stretch too much. This allows ostriches to swallow a large meal altogether;
    • their vision is well developed, in the steppe it gives them the opportunity to spot a predator from a very long distance;
    • they even have something like the ears, as the external ear holes somewhat protrude beyond the boundary of the feather, forming a miniature eyelets.

    Bird or animal

    For the first time, scientists have been asking a lot about the correctness of the statement that ostriches are members of the bird tribe. Very many of them are atypical. For such doubts - a bird or an animal - for example, such interesting facts about ostriches:

    • they do not escape escape at the sight of large predators. Being able to run fast, ostriches, protecting their offspring, can withstand not only the small hyena, but even the African lion - their strong muscular legs are very formidable weapons;
    • grazing these birds are often preferred in the company of herbivores, for example, antelopes or even bison. But here, to lead friendship with other birds, they do not like ostriches;
    • being birds, ostriches, however, are extremely enduring, they can be ridden or harnessed to a cart, which many of their owners successfully overcome;
    • , unlike birds that fly well, but slowly move around the earth, the ostriches are all the opposite.

    We think that to refer to ordinary ostriches to the wildlife, we have the right to the same extent as people - because all living on this planet necessarily refers either to plants, to animals. But still, they have more features that are inherent to birds. Judge for yourself:

    • so, their wings are underdeveloped, but they are;
    • is covered with feathers of almost 80% of their entire body, as it belongs to a feathered tribe;
    • there are no eggs or teeth in the ostrich, but there is a real beak. In the era of dinosaurs, by the way, there were archeopteryxes that had both a beak and teeth, but unfortunately they long died out;The
    • female ostrich, as it is the birds, lays eggs to hatch them.

    Therefore, it is not surprising that scientists came to the conclusion that the ostrich is still a bird, not a beast. Although similarities are with them and with others, but the habits and many characteristics of the ostrich give grounds to say so.

    Variety of Feathers

    Almost all of the ostrich feathers are covered with feathers alike, although the color of feathers, beak and paws may vary. The same applies to the color difference in males and females of one subspecies.

    The main plumage is fluffy and curly and covers:

    • trunk;
    • wings and tail.

    In addition to feathers, there is also a fluff, but only very short. They are covered:

    • head and neck;
    • upper half of the legs( the bottom is covered with large scales).The

    Pooh, as we said, is short, it's hardly visible, so the areas that are covered by it from afar are bare.

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo The male joins the female. It stands out and attracts females due to the splendid feather of

    . How to distinguish a male from a female

    There is a certain difference in the coloration of ostrich feathers of men and women, as well as additional sexual dimorphism. In particular:

    • males are much larger than females;
    • coloring of feathers in males of strictly black color, and in females feathers are gray-brown;
    • feathers in males on wings and on the tail have a white and pure color, in females - dirty white.

    It's also interesting to see how different individuals look in one flock. Although there is usually no permanent flock, nevertheless, a certain hierarchy prevails in it. In particular, the individuals "class" above - alpha - their neck and tail pulled exactly upwards, trying to show the others their preference. Other individuals hold the tail and the neck obliquely, which is a peculiar form of subordination.

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo Dozens of years old ostriches were shot by poachers, but now they are taken under protection

    Accommodation and Nutrition

    At night, these birds rest. The dream of ostriches is very peculiar:

    • part of the night spend the birds, lying on the ground and pulling out the neck. This is the so-called deep sleep phase, but it does not last long;The
    • is followed by a much longer half-life - the ostriches sit on the ground, lifting their necks high, while closing their eyes;
    • both phases periodically change each other.

    During the day when it is very hot, ostriches also have a kind of siesta. The main activity comes at dusk. Being a stupid bird, ostriches, however, are very cautious, though not particularly sober they will not be called either.

    The sharp sight of these birds allows them to see a threat for a kilometer, so when they feed they occasionally raise their heads and look around. Ostriches are omnivorous, they eat and plant food - flowers, fruits and shoots, as well as do not shy away petty livestock - insects, reptiles and rodents. Within a day of ostriches eat 3.5 kilos of food.

    By the way, the ostrich is able to dispense a long time without water, because it contains a lot of moisture in the plants they eat. However, in captivity, they are willing to drink water, and many, and even like to arrange water bathing.

    Scientists at one time found out how much ostriches live. It turned out that their age is approximately equal to the human, that is, 75 years. In one zoo in Europe, the South African ostrich has lived for almost half a century, although it has brought it there already to adults.

    The brain and memory of the ostrich

    The ostrich's brain is about its size, although it is worth noting that the eyes in the bird are quite large, with the average egg of the homemade chicken. Brain is about 35 grams, so it is believed that ostriches are not able to permanently memorize any information - for a minute, no more.

    Behavior at risk

    Having noticed the rapprochement of a predator, the ostrich prefers not to contact with it, but rather to climb away. By the way, this is the kind of symbiosis of this species of birds with herbivores - those who can not see so far. Barking with them in one company, ostriches serve as peculiar watchmen. Worth the ostrich "to throw", as together with him begin to escape and all animals - antelope or bison.

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo Due to its view - ostriches can see a predator for several kilometers

    As attacking ostriches

    Reasonable caution when in danger is inherent to ostriches during the extracurricular period. But their behavior is strikingly changing when they begin to sow egg laying. Here, these birds are capable of displaying extraordinary courage.

    The number of eggs in the masonry averages 15 - 20 pieces, although in East Africa their number reaches 60. Hanging masonry alternately and females - in the afternoon, because the color of their feathers allows them to camouflage on the ground, and males - at night.

    On ostrich eggs among predators - hyenas and jackals - there is a real hunt, especially since in the daytime the masonry is often left open, giving access to the rays of the hot sun. But if the ostrich is detected and the predator creeps into it, its reaction will be unequivocally aggressive: the

    • initially bird tries to frighten the enemy, pulling out the neck and widespread opening the wings, increasing in this way in size;
    • if the threat does not work, the ostrich is accelerated and attacks, using the strength of their paws. The enemy either trample, or beat a paw with a force that can break even a lion's skull.

    But usually the same hyenas hunt ostrich eggs by flocks - until a couple of individuals distract the warlike father on themselves, others get to the laying.

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo Young ostriches do not leave the parents for up to two years, after which

    disperses. Reproduction and offspring

    The period of pairing in birds of the family of ostriches lasts for five months, beginning in the first month of the summer and ending in the middle of autumn. But this is for individuals living in humid areas of Africa. Ostriches living in the wilderness may come together throughout the year.

    During a marriage period, stable flocks, numbering dozens of birds, fall apart. Each male "captures" a certain area from an area of ​​two to 15 square kilometers, diligently expelling from it all possible competitors. Call females males with a special current. Individual:

    • falls to the knees;
    • starts to beat wings in rhythm;The
    • throws its head back, trembling with its neck around its neck.

    The neck and legs of males at such moments become bright red. They sound, when interpreted, as sizzling, and tubular, gaining a full flow of air and letting it out through a long esophagus - a kind of roar turns out.

    There can be several females to cover a male, but only one of them forms a pair. Eggs all females lay in a specially dug male nest hole, 30 to 60 centimeters deep.

    The laying of all females is common, only the dominant female collects its eggs in the center. When all the eggs are delayed, the older female passes by others and begins to suck. During the day, the rest of the female will change it from time to time. The period of hatching takes about a month - a half and a half.

    Photo gallery of ostriches and ostriches

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo

    African ostrich: description of the bird, place of residence, reproduction and photo

    Features of chicks

    A ripe ostrich chick breaks an egg shell for about an hour. After all the surviving chicks come out, the remaining eggs are broken up by older birds to attract flies - flies of chicks and will eat for the first time. Oysters hatched oyster:

    • has eyesight;
    • covered with a gun;
    • can move independently;The
    • weighs a bit more than a kilogram, but for up to four months, weighs up to 20 kilos.

    Typically, chicks of all ages are tied to each other, mixed, and it is already impossible to separate the chicks of one group from another. For the care of the group among the parents, this is exactly the beginning of this fight, and the winners have to take care of different-year-old chicks.

    For the first two months, "children" have a yellow raspberry coating and are more like hedgehogs. A bit later on their body appears a feather, the color of which coincides with the color of the feathers of female mummies. Male chicks acquire black feathers only in the second year. For three to four years, individuals are already ready to mating.

    The local names of ostriches

    In Africa people in different ways call females and ostriches. When the grown chicks are already ready for pairing, it is called "edlymom"( black and smooth), and before that, the chicks and their mothers name "ribs"( dark gray).The ostriches themselves are called natives "naamot"( soft and beautiful).


    So, we found that an ostrich, a bird, and not an animal. You know where they live, what they eat and what their behavior is in different periods of time. If you are interested in this information and you want to do the breeding of these birds, we will be glad to help you with your advice.

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