Then Nathan Young asked, “What’s the difference between an emu and an ostrich?” Weird Animal Question of the Week chose to look into the entire group that these birds are part of, the non-flightless Ratites. As you’ll notice the birds in this photo are bizarre ducks (though there’s not a duck among them).

Big Birds Don’t Fly

The ratites comprise African Ostriches and Emus as well as kiwis, cassowaries, and emus in all the South Pacific and greater and smaller rheas from South America. Be aware of your distance whenever you see an ostrich out in the wild. Take any distance that is smaller than 110 miles (100 meters) as being too close. If an ostrich is advancing toward you, turn away even if the animal seems peaceful.

Be aware of your distance  whenever you see an ostrich out in the wild. Take any distance that is smaller than 110 miles (100 meters) as being too close. If an ostrich is advancing toward you, turn away even if the animal seems peaceful.  Small Yellow Birds Do not force an ostrich into a corner because this could cause a “fight” response instead of one that is a “flight” one.

Do not force an ostrich into a corner because this could cause a “fight” response instead of one that is a “flight” one. All ratites do not have the keel, which is an extended breastbone, where muscles of flight attach, says Rebecca Kimball, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Florida.(Related: “Why Fly? Flightless Bird Mystery Solved, Say Evolutionary Scientists”) Kimball is co-author of the study from 2008 which found that ratites may have lost their ability to fly on their own independently instead of losing flight much earlier and relocating to their various locations through continental drift as was previously believed.

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