If the main hen is impressed, the two will mate. The other hens in the group may also mate with the dominant male or with other lesser males. Then the dominant male scratches out a shallow pit in the dirt to create a nest. The dominant female will lay around eggs in the center of the nest, and the other females place their eggs to the outside. The communal nest may have as many as 60 eggs in it!
Both the male and female ostriches take turns incubating the eggs. Each egg is 15 cm 6 in. Ostrich eggs are the largest in the world!
Video reveals ostrich's bizarre noise that it makes by inflating its neck
If the eggs are kept safe from hyenas, jackals, and Egyptian vultures, they hatch after around 6 weeks. The chicks are born about the size of a chicken and grow 30 cm 1 ft. By six months, the young ostriches have grown nearly as tall as their parents. When confronted, adults will try to distract predators or lure them away. Chicks are born with a spiky, greyish-brown down. They grow brown feathers after 4 months. Then around years, ostriches reach sexual maturity.
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Males develop a striking black and white plumage while females continue to have a brown plumage. In the wild, ostriches live around 40 years.
Male Ostrich Can Roar Like a Lion
But by the mid 19th century, people started farming ostriches. This allowed farmers to simply pluck the feathers from their domesticated birds without having to kill them. They have a large range, but their numbers are declining. They are threatened by habitat loss due to human development and agriculture. They are also still hunted for their feathers, skin, meat, eggs, and fat. This encourages land conservation while creating jobs for the local community.
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You can donate to organizations like the African Wildlife Foundation which supports eco-tourism projects in the region. Ostriches inhabit the savanna, desert, and open woodlands of central and southern Africa. Abi Cushman is a lifelong animal lover and the editor-in-chief of Animal Fact Guide. She not only writes and edits articles, she also creates animal illustrations for the site. Follow her on Twitter: Mating rituals are complicated for these flightless birds. The male alternates wing beats until he attracts a mate and then he will drive away any intruders in the mating area.
Males use this 'boom' as a mating technique whereas female ostriches can only hiss. They graze until their actions become synchronised at which point the ritual aspect of the procedure begins and feeding ceases to be important. The cock will return to excitedly flapping his wings and poking the ground with his bill, before symbolically clearing out a nest in the dirt by violently beating his wings. The hen than runs around him in a circle with wings lowered as the male winds his head in a spiral motion. When this is over he will mount her.
Unlike most birds male ostriches have a retractable 20cm copulatory organ. An ostrich can grow up to 9ft tall and their powerful, long legs can cover 10 to 16ft in a single stride stock image. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Friday, Sep 21st 5-Day Forecast.
Ever wondered what an ostrich sounds like? Share this article Share. They are 15cm long and weigh as much as two dozen chicken eggs However they are actually the smallest eggs relative to the size of the adult bird The birds have no teeth so swallow pebbles to grind their food An adult ostrich carries about 2lbs of stone in its three stomachs.
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