The Ostriches of Timbavati Wildlife Park
Greetings Friends and welcome to this week’s post! Welcome to the week of the ostrich. Ostriches may not be able to fly, but they can break records. They are the largest living species of bird on the planet, growing to between 4 and 9 ft tall. They also lay the largest eggs of any bird in the world. One ostrich egg is the equivalent of two dozen chicken eggs!
Two records might be enough for any other bird, but ostriches are truly extraordinary animals. They also hold the record for the largest eyes of any land animal – only half an inch smaller than a standard tennis ball! So think of them the next time you hit the court.
The Ostrich Looks A Bit Odd
At first glance they are can be quite funny looking animals. With long necks and full fluffy bodies perched atop two strong and very long legs, one ostrich can weigh as much as two full grown adults. And speaking of full grown adults, an ostrich’s wingspan is as wide as Kobe Bryant is tall. That’s over six and a half feet!
The male ostrich is black and the female white, and they only have two toes on each foot which helps them run at speeds of up to 43 miles per hour, twice as fast as Olympian Michael Johnson. Which means the common ostrich holds one more record – fastest two legged animal in the world.
Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not hide their heads in the sand when in danger. They actually run away or lie completely flat on the ground making their feathered body appear as a mound of dirt.
And They’re Off
Did you know people ride ostriches and race them? Ostrich racing has a long, rich history in Africa and the United States, and there are even depictions of it in ancient Egyptian art. As crazy as it sounds it still draws quite a crowd – about 100,000 people turned up in Arizona to watch them in 2016.
You can’t ride them but we have our own little flock of ostriches at Timbavati Wildlife Park. Check out this weeks video for more information about the world’s largest bird.