Animals >>

Cassowary

Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) at a zoo in JakartaCassowary, Jerusalem Biblical ZooDouble-wattled/Southern Cassowary at the Henry Doorly Zoo in OmahaSouthern Cassowary at Chiang Mai ZooDouble-wattled cassowary (Casuarius casuarius)Double-Wattled CassowaryCassowaryNorthern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) at Bali Bird Park
[Jump to Article]

Cassowary Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Aves
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Casuariiformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Casuariidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Casuarius
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Casuarius
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Bird
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Omnivore
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
1.5m - 2m (59in - 79in)
Wing Span:
The measurement from one wing tip to the other
1.5m - 2m (59in - 79in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
25kg - 58.5kg (55lbs - 129lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
50km/h (31mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
40 - 60 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Vulnerable
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Blue, Yellow, Black, Tan
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Feathers
Favourite Food:
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Wet tropical forests
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once
5
Main Prey:Insects, Grass, Fungi
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Dingo, Crocodile, Humans
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Sharp claws and horn-like crest

Cassowary Location

Map of Cassowary Locations
Map of Oceania

Cassowary

The cassowary is a large species of flight-less bird, that is natively found in the forests of Papua New Guinea and on it's surrounding islands. The cassowary is closely related to other large flight-less birds including emus and ostriches and is the third tallest and second heaviest bird in the world behind these two.

The cassowary inhabits dense tropical forest on New Guinea and it's surrounding islands and parts of north-eastern Australia. There are three species of cassowary which are the Southern Cassowary or Double-wattled Cassowary, found in southern New Guinea, northeastern Australia, and the Aru Islands, the Dwarf Cassowary or Bennett's Cassowary, found in New Guinea, New Britain, and on Yapen, and the Northern Cassowary or Single-wattled Cassowary, found in northern and western New Guinea, and Yapen.

The cassowary has adapted well to a peaceful life in the depths of the forest and as a result, are rarely seen by humans who are trying to spot them. The cassowary cannot fly and so has developed the need to run and incredibly fast, as these large birds are able to sprint through the jungle at speeds of more than 30mph. The cassowary also has large, sharp claws which aid the cassowary in defending itself from danger.

The most distinctive features of the cassowary are it's large body size and brightly coloured feathers (females are both larger and more colourful than their male counterparts), and the large, spongy crest that protrudes from the top of the cassowary's head, which can grow to 18 cm in height. Although not much is really known about the purpose of these crests, it's thought that the crest of cassowary is used to assert sexual dominance, to settle disputes and also helps this bird when it is running through the thick undergrowth.

The cassowary is an omnivorous bird and therefore eats a wide variety of both plants and animals in order to gain all the nutrients that it needs to survive. Cassowaries mainly feed on fruits that have fallen to the ground from the trees, along with leaves, grasses, seeds, insects, spiders and other invertebrates.

The cassowary has adapted to a life without the need to fly due to the fact that, historically, the cassowary had no predators within it's natural environment and therefore had no need to flee. However, with human settles can mammalian predators including dogs, foxes and cats that mainly destroy the vulnerable nests of the cassowary, eating their eggs.

The cassowary breeding season is thought to be from May to June when the female cassowary lays up to 8 large, dark eggs into a nest on the ground made from leaf litter. However, the female cassowary then leaves her eggs to be incubated by the male who fiercely guards his future brood from predators for up to 50 days when the cassowary chicks hatch out of their shells.

Today, mainly due to deforestation and therefore habitat loss and the introduction of predators to the cassowary's native islands, all three cassowary species are at risk in the wild and are classified as vulnerable animals.

Cassowary Translations

Cesky
Kasuár přilbový
Deutsch
Helmkasuar
English
Southern Cassowary
Español
Casuarius casuarius
Suomi
Kypäräkasuaari
Français
Casoar à casque
Magyar
Sisakos kazuár
Bahasa Indonesia
Kasuari Gelambir-ganda
Italiano
Casuarius casuarius
日本語
ヒクイドリ
Latina
Casuarius casuarius
Nederlands
Helmkasuaris
Polski
Kazuar hełmiasty

Cassowary Comments

BananaMan
"Thanks for this. Really helped me in a big school project."
Rio Olympics
"Thanks so much I'm a kid that is donning information report. This website really helpful."
Rio
"Really helpful"
Jessica
"Awesome Thanks a lot! Cassowaries are the best.ð"
Lizzy
"Hi this very helpful thanks"
Showing 5 of 28 comments.
Show More Comments

Post Comment

Please enter a nickname which you can use to identify your comment, but which others can not use to identify you. Please do not use your online usernames/handles which you use for social networking.

Article Tools

Add to Phobia Filter
Update your Cassowary phobia filter.
Print Article
View printer friendly version of Cassowary article.
Source/Reference Article
Learn how you can use or cite the Cassowary article in your website content, school work and other projects.

First Published: 26th July 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. Christopher Perrins, Oxford University Press (2009) The Encyclopedia Of Birds [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
2. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]

Are you Safe?

Are You Safe? is an online safety campaign by A-Z-Animals.com. If something has upset you, the Are You Safe? campaign can help you to speak to someone who can help you.

Are you Safe?