Sydney Zoo | Emu
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Emu

Emu

Species Dromaius Novaehollandiae
Emu
Emu Distribution MapDistribution
Emu
Height
Males 1.9m to 2 m tall, Female 1.9m tall
Weight
45 to 50 kg
Top speed
Can run up to 50 km/h
Favourite Food
Seeds, grass, bugs, rodents, flowers

Emus are one of the world’s largest birds. They were one of the first birds to be discovered in Australia by europeans and instantly recognised as an unusual species. The features of the emu are double shafted giving the birds a loose, shaggy look. They are brown in colour and this colour can vary depending of the season and changes in environment. Long thick feathers help the emu maintain a constant body temperature of approximately 40 degrees. Although emus have feathers, they cannot fly because their wings are too small and also the weight of the bird stops them from creating a lift for flying. Emus have three toes with the underside of these toe is flattened with a small pad, to aid traction over rough terrain.

Emus are found throughout Australia in almost all habitat types, open grasslands and bushland.

The emu's diet consists of seeds, grasses, flowers, fruits and insects. They also consume stones to help with digestion. They have no teeth to grind up their food, so they swallow pebbles into the gizzard and these pebbles grind up the food like a mill.

Deep guttural grunts are made by both sexes with females making a deep drumming noise, mostly during breeding season. The emu has teo eyelids, one eyelid is used for blinking, while the other prevents dust and sand from entering their eyes. Their legs are strong and built for running or for kicking predators when faced with danger.

Conservation Status

Did You Know?

Emus cannot walk backwards!