Beau and Monique, Dogs, Dog, Travel, Australia, Photos and Pictures

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Emu

The Emu are the prehistoric native birds of Australia that originated about 80 million years ago. For the Aborigines these birds are the core of existence, because the birds provide them with food, clothing and spiritual sustenance. However EmuĀ gets its name from the Arabic word meaning large bird. Emu is the largest bird of Australia standing as tall as 1.6-1.9m above the ground. The Emu-bird lives only in mainland Australia. They inhabit eucalypt forests, mallee, heathland, desert shrub lands and sand plains. After heavy rains these birds are found in desert areas. Emus also can be found near big cities. They suffer from lack of native vegetation that has been cleared to provide agricultural land. Emus eat fruits, seeds, growing shoots of plants, insects, other small animals, and animal droppings. They move within their range according to climatic conditions. If sufficient food and water are present, birds will reside in one area. Emus have flat breastbones and lack wing muscles. They cannot fly, but have strong legs and run very fast. This bird moves in flock and has a life span of 10-20 years. They are flightless, large and shaggy. Their secondary feather that branches from the base of the main feather is the same length as the main feather. Feathers that hang limply from the body of the Emu give the bird a furry look. The neck and legs of the emus are long. Emu wings are very short and are reduced to about 20 cm. The sunlight gives the feathers their brown color due to melanin. When the sunlight fades, emus become paler. They are shy birds, but very curious, and will always investigate anything new and interesting that they come across. Emus have nests on the ground, and after the mother Emu has laid her 5-11 eggs, the father Emu sits on them until they hatch which is normally a period of 8 weeks. When we where at Australia Zoo, we looked over a fence and seen this, i can teel you it gave us a shock to look straight in those eyes, but is was very funnie also. I wonder who was shocked the most the Emu or us.

Emu at Australia Zoo

posted by Monique at 1:16 pm  

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