Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Emu, any bird of either of the two species of the Ratite genus Dromeeus, confined to Australia. They belong to the same family as the Cassowary (q.v.), from which they differ in having no casque, or wattles; the head and the neck are feathered, and the toes furnished with stout-curved nails. The wings are rudimentary, but their powerful legs enable these birds to run with great speed. The height is about six feet, and the plumage shades of dull brown, the lightest hues being beneath. The common emu (D. nova-hollandice) is widely distributed over the whole of Australia, and is much hunted for its flesh, which is said to resemble beef, and this fact and the fondness of the natives for its eggs have greatly reduced its numbers. The Spotted Emu (D.irroratus) is confined to Western Australia, and has been partially domesticated in Surrey, breeding readily in confinement. Jn both the species true pairing occurs.