Anti-Caturday: A Dinosaur by Any Other Name

Emu by The b@t

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before or not but birds are descended from dinosaurs and nowhere is it more evident than in emus and ostriches. Emus especially are such magnificent creatures that it’s high time I devoted at least one Saturday for them. They’re huge birds, with long strides and a top speed of almost 50 km/h (31 mph), native to Australia. They eat insects and plants but also pebbles to help with digestion. In captivity they’ll eat pretty much anything, including unattended keys, apparently for the same purpose. They’re also very curious and apparently playful by nature and in the wild they’ll follow humans around and sometimes poke other animals with their beaks and then run away when the animal reacts. They also seem to like water, lounging around in puddles and rivers, sometimes even taking to swimming when necessary.

The most interesting thing about Emus is their sexual dimorphism. Now, I know what you’re going to say; “But Nina, sexual dimorphism is very common in birds” and no, not like this it isn’t. You see, in emus the female is the one who does all the courting. And while most of the time both males and females look pretty much the same, during mating season it’s the females that change their plumage into darker, flashier colors. During the mating season it is also the females that will fight other females for first pick over the males. The males will incubate the eggs after the female lays them. Often the female will then go off and mate with another male. If she stays however, they will both incubate the eggs so that the other can eat and drink while the other watches over the brood.

Emu by WOAW – the world of animal welfare

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