5 Interesting Facts About Emus

Me and an emu at a local wildlife reserve

Emus are one of the best known Australian birds and are one of my favourite animals that I’ve seen in the wild.

Here are five interesting facts about them:

  1. Behind the ostrich, they are the second tallest bird in the world.  Females are slightly larger than males and they can grow to 1.9 metres tall.
  2. They eat almost anything, especially seeds, plants and insects.  They have an important role to play in the environment, because they eat seeds and then disperse them when they poo.  I’ve seen them steal sandwiches from a small child too, which was pretty funny, but scary for the child.
  3. Emus have long powerful legs and are extremely fast runners.  They have been timed at 50 kph.  Some people say that they can’t walk backwards and that is why they are on the Australian coat of arms with a kangaroo, which also can’t walk backwards.
  4. Female emus lay 5-15 eggs and then leave the incubating and raising of the chicks to the male who will do this all by himself.
  5. They are widespread throughout mainland Australia and live in any habitat except for tropical rainforests.  They are also easy to keep in captivity and it is estimated that there are over 1 million emus in the USA, Peru and China where they are farmed for their very lean meat, leather and oil.

I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.

Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about emus?

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