Ostriches are the largest and heaviest birds in the world!
Aruba is a perfect place for Ostriches to live.
Although they cannot fly, ostriches sure can run! They are the fastest-running birds, reaching
speeds of up to 43 mph (70 km/h)! At this speed, they are the only animals that can outrun
Obviously, the amazing speed of the ostrich is helpful in outrunning predators, but the ostrich
can also use its powerful legs to kick like a kangaroo. In fact, its kick is strong enough to
kill a lion. Ostriches can also defend themselves with a 4-inch claw on each foot.
Ostrich brains are as big as a walnut and smaller than their eyes. They are not particularly
intelligent, but with the largest eyeball of any bird, they can see as far as 2.2 miles
Ostrich meat is red meat, like beef, and is the healthiest meat you can eat while low in fat
and cholesterol and high in protein.
An adult ostrich carries about 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of stones in its gizzard (second
stomach). Yes, stones! Since ostriches do not have teeth, they eat stones which help to grind
their food when it reaches the gizzard.
Ostriches can tolerate temperature differences of 104 F (40 C)! They prosper in climates
between 86 F and -22 F (30 C and -30 C).
Ostriches can live up to the age of 70 years, with 50 being typical.
The ostrich male roars like a lion!
When a pair of ostriches bearing the young meets another pair, the parents will fight and the
winning pair will be parents of both pairs' offspring. It has been reported that the biggest
group of ostriches contains 300 offspring!
It has been discovered that the cornea of the ostrich eye can be used to replace the human
During the 18th century, the French queen, Marie Antoinette, popularized the fashion of wearing
a feather in one's hat. Women searched for the most beautiful feathers, leading them to the
ostrich. Hunting these birds became a large-scale enterprise world-wide. Ostriches were on the
verge of extinction, but then a savior came—the automobile. Ostrich feathers flowed beautifully
when ladies pranced around on horses. But in the automobile, the feathers became a mess. And so
the fashion fell out of use, thus saving the ostrich!
What about their cousins?
The emu is the second largest bird in the world!
Aruba is a perfect place for Emus to live.
Emus can sprint up to 31 mph (50 km/h), so they are not as fast as their primary predators,
wild cats. However, they have a special advantage over the cats. As a cat is racing full speed
after an emu and just about to catch it, the emu will raise one of its wings upward and point
the other towards the earth. This causes the emu to swivel around almost 180 degrees—still at
top speed—and it takes off in a different direction. The cat cannot turn this quickly, and its
momentum will keep it going for about 30 yards, by which time the emu is far away. Over time,
the cat will tire and give up the chase.
Emus are the only birds with gastrocnemius muscles (calf muscles) in the back of the lower
The male incubates the eggs, and from this time on, he does not eat, drink, or defecate, and
stands only to turn the eggs about 10 times a day.
Emus live between 10 and 20 years.
They can swim when necessary.
Their call consists of loud booming, drumming, and grunting sounds that can be heard up to 1.2
miles (2 km) away.
Emu meat is red, like beef, and is low in fat and cholesterol.
Emu fat is rendered to produce oil for cosmetics as well as dietary and therapeutic
There is some evidence that the oil has anti-inflammatory properties.