10 Fun Facts About Emu

Emus are large, unique birds with long necks, azure heads, fluffy plumage, and strong legs that make them easy to identify. The emu, a member of the ratite family, is the second-oldest living bird after the ostrich. They are occasionally eclipsed by ostriches, their somewhat larger African cousins, yet they are no less fascinating, enjoyable, or deserving of respect. Here are a few emu facts you might not be aware of.

1 - The only birds that have calf muscles are emus.


Emus make up for their lack of wing size with their powerful legs. In addition to the size of their legs, they have a few unique characteristics that increase their strength. For instance, emus are the only species of bird with a gastrocnemius. This strong muscle is a component of the calf muscle in humans and is situated on the back of the leg.

2 - Emu occasionally consume odd foods.


They ingest tiny stones as gizzards, which remain in their stomachs, just like all birds do. During digestion, the stones bounce around and aid in the breakdown of any food that is currently in the stomach. Emus have also been seen by scientists to ingest charcoal, though the explanation for this behavior is yet unknown. Emus have even been seen consuming jewelry, marbles, vehicle keys, small pieces of metal, and broken glass.

3 - Emus may go two months without eating.


Male and female emu birds differ somewhat in size. During breeding, the female emu also has the upper hand. The father will take up incubation after she has laid her big, green eggs. She might go at this point and never come back. She occasionally picks up another mate and reproduces once again. The father is left to care for the eggs in the interim. He won't leave during this time to drink or eat. For two months, he stays in the nest.

4 - Emu adaptations are special to them.


Even though emus cannot fly, they nonetheless flail their wings when they run. This, together with the emu's distinctive pelvic shape, is thought by scientists to help these animals maintain their balance while sprinting at fast speeds. Similar to how most birds have four toes whereas an emu only has three, To aid in their long-distance foot travel, emus also have large pads under their feet. Additionally, they have delicate beaks that they employ for grazing.

5 - The voice of an emu is powerful.


A hollow drum might be likened to the low, deep voice of an emu. They may whistle and grunt as well. Though the sound can be rather powerful, its low frequency makes it difficult to record. Some areas allow you to hear emus up to two kilometers away. At Mungo, we frequently hear emus in the distance.

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However, if they do, they usually drink a lot and are able to stop for a while. In fact, they are capable of continuously consuming alcohol for up to 10 minutes. The ability of emus to travel great distances without stopping for water is thought to be another adaptation to Australia's severe environment. Even so, they may travel for days without having to rehydrate, according to scientists.

7 - The eggs are cared for by male emus.


Eggs hatched by emus have a green shell to help them blend in with their surroundings and range in number from 5 to 15. Usually over the course of eight weeks, the male emus sits on the eggs and keeps them warm with their body until they hatch. They stay close to the eggs during that time, even to the point of starvation if necessary. In fact, when guarding the eggs, male emus may lose up to one-third of their body weight. The mother emu usually merely leaves to find another partner; however, she will occasionally stay to help care for the eggs and chicks.

8 - Emus can jump quite high, swim very well, and run quickly.

Emu Bird

Emus have only three toes on each foot, which appears to enhance their ability to run. They also have calf muscles. Additionally, their pelvic limb muscles are exceptionally large, making up the same percentage of their total bodyweight as the flight muscle do for the majority of flying birds. Emus can sprint at rates of up to 30 mph thanks to their special legs, which can take huge strides (48 kph). Emus also possess a powerful vertical leap that allows them to quickly ascend up to 6.8 feet (2.1 meters) in the air without the use of wings. They are also said to be good swimmers, even though they typically only swim when absolutely necessary.

9 - Emus are not lifelong partners.

Young Emu

In fact, after mating with a male, female emus can keep any sperm they receive. This gives females the freedom to decide when they wish to fertilize their eggs, which typically results in batches of eggs from many different fathers. Additionally, it enables a female emu to produce many clutches of eggs within a single mating season.

10 - Australia formerly engaged in war with emus.

Emu Bird

During the 1932 emu migration, this occurred in Western Australia's Campion District. The local farmlands were overrun by the wild emu population, which destroyed farming equipment and ate crops. Additionally, the latter permitted other animals, such as rabbits, to follow the emus, further harming agriculture. This prompted the people to request assistance from the government, which then dispatched the Australian Army. In the months of November and December 1942, soldiers killed 986 emus by direct gunfire. A further 2,500 birds perished from wounds brought on by army gunshots, according to estimates. Despite complaints from both domestic and foreign sources, the final assessment concluded that the army's action was successful.

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