OSTRICH
Struthio camelus





DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
Ostriches have occupied North Africa, southern Sahara, East Africa and much of Minor Asia.
 


DESCRIPTION
The ostriches are huge terrestrial birds. Males are black and white, females gray brown. Males are bigger than females. Two thirds of the neck and head are covered with short degenerate feathers like fur. Ostriches can run continuously with 50 km/h and at maximum speeds of about 70 km/h.
 


REPRODUCTION
Mating period begins in March-April and ends in September. Territorial males compete for flocks of 2-7 hens. The male will mate with all, but form pair only with the dominant female. The females will lay their eggs in a simple pit, 30 to 60 centimeters deep, scraped in the ground by the male.
 


DIET
Ostriches are herbivorous living mostly on plants, seeds, fruits, flowers and occasionally they also eat insects such as locusts. They swallow pebble stones to grind the food. They can survive without water for long periods of time, but they enjoy water and frequently take baths where it is available.
 


SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
Ostriches live in flocks of 5 to 50, and they are normally found in the company of grazing animals like antelope and zebras.
 
LONGEVITY
They can live between 30-75 years.