• Scientific name: Struthio camelus
  • IUCN status: Listed
  • Habitat: Southern Africa – open, semi-arid savannah
  • Diet: Omnivore – but mainly roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, insects

The largest, heaviest and tallest of all birds, ostriches are also the fastest, reaching speeds up to 65kph (40mph), and lay the biggest eggs. These flightless record-breakers do not need to drink – they make their own water internally and get the rest from vegetation. They swallow stones to aid digestion. Ostriches can cause serious injury or death with a kick and a slash from their powerful legs and claws.

Keeper’s Secret

Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in sand when threatened. They ‘hide’ by lying flat on the ground ... or run away!

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