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Emu Wikipedia

what is the emu

„They can face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks.“ For such a bulky bird, however, their wings are surprisingly puny. Without the need for flight, the emu’s wings have been reduced to less than 8 inches (20 centimeters), or about the size of a human hand. While emus can resist intense cold, they should be kept dry under these conditions or they may suffer from frostbite. Also, while emus have feathers that protect them from the sun, they need ready access to water.

  1. For such a bulky bird, however, their wings are surprisingly puny.
  2. The Kangaroo Island emu (D. baudinianus), found only on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, was likely hunted to extinction prior to 1827.
  3. When fencing your emu’s enclosure, the fence should be at least 6 feet tall.
  4. Predators of the emu include dingoes and wedge-tailed eagles.
  5. Shelters for emus should be well-ventilated, shaded, and sufficiently spacious.

Those unique legs can take enormous strides, enabling emus to run at speeds up to 30 mph (48 kph). Emus also have an impressive vertical leap, which can quickly carry the large birds up to 6.8 feet (2.1 meters) off the ground — all without the help of wings. And while they generally only enter the water when necessary, they are reportedly strong swimmers.

How Tall Should the Fence Be? (Can They Jump a Fence?)

Fences can help fend off emus, but not all farmers want to keep emus away. Some farmers see the birds as beneficial because they eat the burrs that entangle sheep wool as well as caterpillars and grasshoppers. There have been other attempts to shoot or poison large numbers of emus over the years, but the birds have proven resilient and resourceful.

A few stay to defend the male on the nest, using their loud, booming call. Males are aggressive when the chicks hatch, driving the remaining females away and attacking anything else that approaches the nest. Newly hatched chicks weigh 15.5 to 17.6 ounces (440 to 500 grams). The male stays with the chicks for about five to seven months. Lost chicks from other broods are allowed to join another male’s group, if they are smaller than his own offspring.

Breeding takes place in May and June, and fighting among females for a mate is common. Females can mate several times and lay several clutches of eggs in one season. The male does the incubation; during this process he hardly eats or drinks and loses a significant amount of weight. The eggs hatch after around eight weeks, and the young are nurtured by their fathers. They reach full size after around six months, but can remain as a family unit until the next breeding season. The male incubates the eggs for 56 days, during which time he does not eat or drink.

Emus will not escape when placed within the appropriate type of fencing system. And since they barely have any predators, you do not have to worry much about their safety. The morning of Jan. 26, Africa Trail staff reported for duty and discovered a female addax calf.

Food/Eating Habits

But beyond that, emus are pretty energetic, so they love running and jumping around. Of course, they need ample space to run and jump all over the place. Emus are about 2-3 times the size of ducks and chickens, so your regular coop will not make do as a shelter for them. The emu is an important cultural icon of Australia, appearing on the coat of arms and various coinages. The bird features prominently in Indigenous Australian mythologies.

what is the emu

The common emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is stout-bodied and long-legged, like its relative the cassowary. Emus can dash away at nearly 50 km (30 miles) per hour; if cornered, they kick with their big three-toed feet. Emus mate for life; the male incubates 7 to 10 dark green eggs, 13 cm (5 inches) long, in a ground nest for about 60 days. In small flocks, emus forage for fruits and insects but may also damage crops. The peculiar structure of the trachea of the emu is correlated with the loud booming note of the bird during the breeding season. Three subspecies are recognized, inhabiting northern, southeastern, and southwestern Australia; a fourth, now extinct, lived on Tasmania.

This is especially vital if the emu fathers will incubate the eggs. At the least, a pair of emus need 3000 square feet of space. However, some breeders raise emu pairs in 1000 square feet of space. For the next 8 weeks after the eggs have been laid, the male will sit on the nest, carefully turning the eggs around 10 times each day.

Some of their noises can be heard up to 2 kilometres away. When temperatures are very hot, the emu pants to help maintain its body temperature. The Emu is the second largest bird in the world, the largest being the similar looking, Ostrich. Although Emus resemble Ostriches, emus have a longer, lower profile and 3 toes on each foot (Ostriches have only 2 toes on each foot). The closest relative to the emu is a Cassowary, another flightless bird.

More Fascinating Animals to Learn About

The nest, made of leaves, grass and bark is a shallow depression next to low brush. During incubation, which lasts 56 days, the male doesn’t eat, drink or defecate. Once the male starts sitting, most females leave the territory, sometimes pairing with other males and laying further clutches.

An emu father may lose a third of his body weight while incubating his eggs. He becomes aggressive once his chicks hatch, chasing away any females in his territory (including the mother) and attacking any perceived threat to his nest. Female emus compete for access to males, while males build the nest and wait to be courted. Once a pair has mated, the female lays a clutch of eggs in the male’s nest over several days. Their necks and legs are long, but their wings are tiny, reduced to less than 8 inches (20 centimeters).

Conservation Global Nav Links

You could build a lovely shaded barn for them, and they will never step in it. So, when creating a space for emus, only prioritize the essentials. Before mating, the female makes dull, rattling, drum-like sounds, and the male builds a nest in his territory where the female later joins him.

Optimally, emu pairs need 3000 square feet of space or higher. But some breeders reportedly offer only 1000 square feet per pair. During this brooding time, the male emu may lose one third of his body weight by not feeding while brooding the clutch of eggs. As the egg laying period approaches, males will lose their appetite and begin to construct a nest using sticks, grass, leaves and bark. They also make grunting sounds and a deep-throated drumming sound.

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