Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|1.5m - 1.9m (4.9ft - 6.2ft)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|18kg - 60kg (40lbs - 132lbs)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|12 - 20 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Black, Grey, Brown|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Open grasslands with bushes close to water|
|Average Clutch Size:|
The average number of eggs laid at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Fruit, Seeds, Insects, Flowers|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Human, Wild dogs, Birds of prey|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Enormous body size and large eyes|
Map of Oceania
Studies show that emus seem to avoid dense forests and largely populated areas, as this means that the emu can be more aware of its surroundings. Although the emu does prefer to be in woodland or shrub land where there is plenty to eat as well as cover, they like to know exactly what is around them.
In Australia, there are enormous emu farms where the emu is bred for meat, oil and leather. Emu oil is said to hold medicinal healing properties when rubbed onto painful joints and is commonly used across the world mainly for sports injuries but also arthritis.
Emus can grow to nearly 2 meters tall and have extremely soft feathers. Emus are flightless birds mainly due to their enormous size, which means that they are just too heavy to fly. Emus are nomadic animals which means that they rarely stay in the same place for long. This travelling lifestyle means that the emu can make the most of the food that is available and emus are known to travel long distances in order to find more food.
Emus are omnivorous birds feeding mainly on fruits, seeds and insects. Emus are generally found close to water and are therefore not keen on more arid regions. However, the introduction of better water supplies to inland Australia has meant that despite the population decrease of the wild emu, their range has expanded.
Emus have long necks and long legs in comparison to their body size. The long, flexible legs of the emu mean that the emu is able to run at high speeds, with emus generally running at around 25 mph. Emus however, are able to reach a top speed of 30 mph in short bursts should the emu need to get away quickly from a dangerous situation.
Emus form breeding pairs during the Australian summer (December) and mating usually occurs when the climate becomes cooler a few months later. The female emu can lay up to 20 eggs (although 12 is the average number), which hatch after a couple of months. The male emu eats very little throughout the breeding process and it is he that incubates the eggs. By the time the emu chicks hatch, the male emu has lost a considerable amount of body weight and lives of his fat reserves.
Emus have few predators due to their large size and fast speed. Emus are most commonly preyed upon by wild dogs and crocodiles and are hunted by humans. Emu eggs are eaten by many animals including dogs, birds of prey and large reptiles.
Emus tend to live for between 10 and 20 years in the wild, although it is not uncommon for an emu to be more than 30 years old, particularly when in captivity. Emus are known to be very versatile animals and can easily adapt to many different environments.
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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 7th November 2019
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2. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
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: 10 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]