The largest bird in the world!
Ostrich Scientific Classification
- Scientific Name
- Struthio Camelus
Ostrich Conservation Status
- Main Prey
- Grass, Roots, Seeds, Flowers
- Distinctive Feature
- Small wings and long neck and legs
- 1.5m - 2m (4.9ft - 6.5ft)
- Desert and savanna areas
- Hyena, Lion, Cheetah
- Favorite Food
- Average Clutch Size
- The largest bird in the world!
Ostrich Physical Characteristics
- Skin Type
- Top Speed
- 42 mph
- 50 - 70 years
- 63kg - 130kg (140lbs - 290lbs)
- 1.8m - 2.7m (6ft - 9ft)
Click through all of our Ostrich images in the gallery.
The ostrich is the biggest bird in the world with a male ostrich often growing more than 2 meters tall. The ostrich is also the world’s fastest bird on the ground being able to run at speeds of up to 50 mph for short periods of time.
Despite the fact that the ostrich is a bird, the ostrich cannot fly and instead will run away when threatened. The ostrich weighs more than 100kg which is the main reason as to why the ostrich is unable to fly. The ostrich will also lay flat on the ground to hide from predators.
The ostrich mainly eats grubs and insects, often found in the ground. The ostrich is well known for putting its head into the ground to get the bugs in the soil. The ostrich also has a kick so powerful that it can be fatal to most mammals.
The ostrich is found natively in Africa (and also used to be found in the Middle East) but the ostrich is farmed for its meat, skin and feathers all around the world.
The ostrich lays the biggest eggs of any bird species with an ostrich egg generally being more than 10 times bigger than the average chicken egg. Due to its sheer size, the egg of the ostrich is considered a culinary delicacy in many human cultures.
There are five different species of ostrich that are generally found around central and eastern Africa. The different species of ostrich are all very similar but vary in size and colour depending on the species of ostrich. The ostrich is most closely related to the Australian emu and the New Zealand kiwi.
The ostrich is an omnivore and therefore eats a variety of both plants and animals. The diet of the ostrich mainly consists of leaves, grass, seeds, roots, flowers and berries along with insects and occasionally small mammals and reptiles.
Due to the sheer size and immense power of the ostrich, the ostrich has few natural predators in its environment. The main predators of the ostrich are lions and cheetahs, and also hyenas and crocodiles if they are able to catch one. Humans are one of the main predators of the ostrich as they hunt the ostrich for it’s meat and feathers.
Ostriches live in herds that usually include the dominant male, his hens (female ostriches) and their young offspring (ostrich babies). During the mating season, the alpha male will make a communal nest around 3 meters wide in the ground for his female ostriches to lay their eggs in. There are often more than 20 eggs in the nest but it is rare that more than a couple of these eggs actually hatch as they are preyed upon by predators like jackals and hyenas. After an incubation period of around 6 weeks, the ostrich chicks hatch out of their eggs. It is the alpha male ostrich that defends the ostrich chicks from danger and teaches them to feed.View all 10 animals that start with O
Ostrich FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are Ostriches herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?
Ostriches are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.
What Kingdom do Ostriches belong to?
Ostriches belong to the Kingdom Animalia.
What phylum do Ostriches belong to?
Ostriches belong to the phylum Chordata.
What class do Ostriches belong to?
Ostriches belong to the class Aves.
What family do Ostriches belong to?
Ostriches belong to the family Struthionidae.
What order do Ostriches belong to?
Ostriches belong to the order Struthioniformes.
What genus do Ostriches belong to?
Ostriches belong to the genus Struthio.
What type of covering do Ostriches have?
Ostriches are covered in Feathers.
In what type of habitat do Ostriches live?
Ostriches live in desert and savanna areas.
What are some distinguishing features of Ostriches?
Ostriches have small wings, long necks, and long legs.
What do Ostriches eat?
Ostriches eat grass, roots, seeds, and flowers.
What are some predators of Ostriches?
Predators of Ostriches include hyenas, lions, and cheetahs.
What is the average clutch size of a Ostrich?
Ostriches typically lay 1 egg.
What is an interesting fact about Ostriches?
Ostriches are the largest bird in the world!
- David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2011) Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide To The World's Wildlife
- Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
- David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
- Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species
- David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
- Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals
- Christopher Perrins, Oxford University Press (2009) The Encyclopedia Of Birds