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People who know southern cassowary might be only familiar with its beautiful and colorful feathers and the fact that it is dangerous in some ways. To add to the knowledge about this big tropical bird, here are some facts about southern cassowary Australia.
The Second Heaviest Bird on Earth
If it is not obvious enough, Earth’s heaviest bird is the biggest one, which is the ostrich. Cassowary, on the other hand, is following the lead to take second place. However, the title only belongs to southern cassowary as the other types of cassowaries, the dwarf and the northern, are not as big.
Southern cassowaries can grow up to 1.7 meters tall, while the northern ones can grow 152 centimeters and only 91 centimeters for the dwarf one. In terms of height, the southern cassowary is shorter than the ostrich and emu, but with a weight of about 75 kilograms, the ostrich is the only bird on Earth that can beat it.
Child in Parent By Male Cassowary
The female cassowary’s only job for the birth of cassowary chicks is to lay about three to five eggs in a nest. After the job is done, it is the male cassowary’s turn to take care of those eggs while the female finds another mate.
Male cassowary stays in the nest and protects those eggs until they are hatched in 50 days or more. Then, it is time for those baby cassowaries to be trained by the male cassowary to survive after being raised and defended for about nine months.
Have Dangerous Leg Kicks
Southern cassowaries are not necessarily dangerous, and they are considered shy creatures. However, they can be vicious when feeling in danger. To defend themselves, they can rely on their legs to deliver some kicks as they are actually attacking rather than just defending.
The strong legs of a southern cassowary can cause fatal injuries and broken bones to the receivers of its downward kicks.
Can Jump Seven Feet
To add to their attacking power when defending themselves, southern cassowaries have the ability to leap as high as seven feet or about 2.13 meters, which is much more than their own heights. With that ability, it seems that they do not need to fly after all.
This one of the facts about southern cassowary Australia can go hand in hand very greatly with the dangerous leg kicks. It is better for predators not to get near any southern cassowary or else.
Only Eat Fruit and Droppings
Despite having a huge body for a bird, southern cassowaries are frugivores. They live in rainforests, so the choice is plenty of fruit as their diet. To fulfill the big body, they can eat a total of up to five kilograms of fruit in a day.
Surprisingly enough, southern cassowaries also eat their own droppings. It is not without reason, though. Most of the cassowary’s droppings contain fruit that has been half-digested and still has some nutrients, so eating those is actually great for the digestive system.
Very Fast at Running
Common birds can fly, and some even very quickly. Others, like penguins, are the best swimmers. But southern cassowary, which is one of the native animals of Australia, has its own advantage that it can run reasonably fast. A fully grown cassowary can run as fast as 50 kilometers or 31 miles per hour.
Can Live Up To 40 Years
Southern cassowary can live very long when it is protected. Some cassowaries in captivity can reach the age of 40 years old, and some even reach 61 years old. However, it is rather difficult to find the exact data on how long southern cassowary can live in the wilderness, so it can only be estimated at around 20 years old.
Have Sharp and Dangerous Claws
Each foot of a southern cassowary has only three toes, but they are strong and thick. It also has weapons in the form of claws attached to those toes, which can grow up to 12 centimeters long. Those claws are useful in both dangerous situations and food searching.
Now that you know those facts about southern cassowary Australia, your general knowledge becomes richer, and you will be more careful if you meet one of those big birds in the wilderness.