Information about: Ostrich

Index | Ostrich

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Ostrich. A family of birds, belonging to the order Ratitae, having a raft-like sternum (breast bone), and consequently not possessing the power of flight. The true ostriches belong to a single genus, Struthio. Formerly they roamed over nearly all the dry regions of Africa, with the exception of Libya and the Sahara; but they are now very rare except in the eastern and southern parts. In habit they are gregarious, usually ranging in small companies. They are polygamous, each male accompanying three or four females, all of which deposit their eggs in a single large nest scooped out in the sand. All the hens sit and relieve each other by turns, the male also taking his turn by night and assisting in the incubation of the eggs. The Rhea americana, or South American ostrich, is smaller than the African ostrich, has no tail, and is of a drab color. Its feet have three toes instead of two, as is the case with the true ostriches. The feathers have very little commercial value. The Rhea is found in Patagonia and the regio northward as far as Brazil. Its habits are similar to those of its African relatives.