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


Ostrich, any bird of the Batite genus Struthio, with two species, from Africa and Arabia. The head, neck, and thighs are naked; the tarsi are covered with scales; there are only two toes; and the quill-feathers of the wings and tail - the ostrich plumes of commerce - have their barbs quite free.

Ostriches are the largest living birds, standing from six to eight feet high. The rudimentary wings are useless for flight, but these birds run with great ' speed, and then their wings are spread out and act as sails, helping them along. There is not a great deal of difference between the two species. S. camelus, the common form, has the widest range, and in these birds the naked skin is red, while in S. molybdophanes, from Somaliland, it is bluish, and there is a red plaque in front of the tarsus.