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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Amaze-wing Facts About The Emu For Kids

Here are emu facts for kids about this animal.

If you are a wild bird lover, then you must be familiar with the bird emu. Emus are a flightless bird that have a face similar to a kiwi or an ostrich. Emus are the largest birds found in Australia. They can be found in the coastal region and grasslands as well living either in pairs or groups of other emu birds.  In addition to mainland Australia, various emu subspecies were once found in Tasmania and King Island.  Since long ago, emus have formed a lifeline for the natives. Aboriginals farm these birds for emu eggs and meat, as one emu egg can feed up to 4-6 individuals. This makes them incredibly important to Native Australians. Their long feet allow them to walk on bamboo, climb trees, and tumble through grass. Their diet comprises of plants, seeds, fruits, and young shoots. Sometimes they also feed on small animals and insects.

Emus face danger from various predators in the wild. The predators of emu include dingoes and wedge tailed eagles. These flightless birds are native to Australia. Their long legs are extremely powerful and can deal a deadly blow to a predator but their small wings are absolutely useless.

An emu, related to ostriches, is a species full of interesting facts. In this article, we will discuss these interesting emu facts. Once you've read these, you should read our facts on ostrich and great green macaw.

Emu Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an emu?

An emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is a huge flightless bird of the dromaiidae family. They might not be able to fly but can run at an impressive pace. They are known to communicate using low-pitched vocals that spread to 1.2 m (2 km) distance.

What class of animal does an emu belong to?

An emu belongs to the aves class of animals. Out of the four sub-species of emu, one is now extinct.

How many emus are there in the world?

The estimated population of emus is 630,0000 to 725,000 birds. The emus' population is free from any Extinction threats. Their population is relatively stable.

Where does an emu live?

Emu birds are native to Australia. They can be found residing in the coastal plains and as well as in grasslands.

What is an emu's habitat?

Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) make their homes in the savanna woodlands and sclerophyll forests in Australia. It is extremely rare to find an emu in rainforests or areas with extreme aridness.

Who do emus live with?

Emus are usually seen to be living in pairs. In some exceptional cases, they might be living in groups as well.

How long does an emu live?

The average lifespan of an emu is ten to 12 years in the wild and if the emu is residing in captivity, then it is likely to live till 35 years of age.

How do they reproduce?

Emus reproduce through sexual reproduction. The nesting season occurs in the winter months. The male and female emus live together for almost five months. During this duration, emus remain like a couple and will build nests together. The nest is made up of a grass, leaves and twigs that is nearly 4 in (10 cm) thick. The green eggs of emus are quite large, and they lay their green eggs in the nest at intervals. Their interval period is not very long and it can last for at least two to four days.

The fresh emu eggs are dark blue-green in color, and when an emu egg is gradually exposed to the sun, the color begins to fade and become lighter. The shells of the eggs are quite thick and are almost pale green in color.

During the pair formation, the female emu dominates its male counterpart, but as soon as the incubation starts, the males tend to become aggressive and territorial towards the partner and other emus. The female, after laying emu eggs in the nest, strolls away, leaving the incubation duties on the males. From this point onwards, the incubation duties are performed by the male. The male emu will incubate the eggs without eating or drinking and defecating. The male will not leave the nest at any cost.

The chicks are cream in color and have stripes of dark brown color on their bodies. The chicks leave the nest when they are able to feed themselves and live independently. As the chicks grow, the stripes begin to fade away. Emus become full-grown after reaching the age of 20 months.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of an emu is categorized as of Least Concern. Their population is stable, and they do not face any threat of being endangered in the near future. But issues such as habitat loss, predators like dingoes and wedge tailed eagles, and poaching for emu oil do occur and may place these birds in danger.

Emu Fun Facts

What do emus look like?

Emus have shaggy feathers of grey-brown texture. Most of the feathers follow this color pattern. Only the neck and the head is free from feathers and are mostly naked and blue-black in color. The wings are very small, but to overcome that, they have strong and powerful long legs, which helps them to run at impressive speeds. Their small wings are of no use and serve only as an ornamental purpose. The feet have three toes on each of them, and the hind toe is not present in their feet.

There are no hind toes on emu feet.

How cute are they?

The blue emu is indeed very cute. Their small fluffy faces make them look very much sweet and adorable.

How do they communicate?

Emus use various methods such as low-pitched sounds that are non-vocal to communicate with other emus. These sounds include deep grunts with booming notes, which are generally audible within a range of 1 m (1.6 km). There is a pouch in the emu's throat that enables this majestic bird to make deep drumming, grunting, and booming sounds.

How big is an emu?

An emu is almost 66-72 in (5.5-6.0 ft) tall, which makes it almost ten times bigger than a chicken.

How fast can an emu run?

Emus are very good runners. They can run at an impressive speed of 30 mph (48 kmph) that makes them really fast compared to other flightless birds.

How much does an emu weigh?

The average weight of an emu ranges between 80-90 lb (36-40 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males of this species are called cocks, and females are called hens.

What would you call a baby emu?

A young emu will be called a chick.

What do they eat?

Emus are omnivores. The majority of the emu diet consists of plants and plant parts like seeds, flowers, fruits, and shoots. Apart from plant parts, they can also eat small invertebrates and insects such as grasshoppers, ladybugs and caterpillars.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, an emu can be dangerous. Emus are well known for their aggressive behavior. Their feet are very powerful which ensures that their kick is really strong and can cause some injuries. However, any death arising as a result of their kick is very rare.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they can't make a good pet. The main reason behind this is that they are wild birds. Wild birds are really tough to handle, and also, they can often be aggressive. So, it's better not to have them as pets.

Did you know...

Emus are not very smart. It's been said by scientists that they are very easy animals to trick and fool.

Australia once went to war with the emu. It is termed as 'The Great Emu War of 1932'.

Emu vs. ostrich

People often get confused between the two species, so in order to make the difference clear, here are some points which will help us know the differences between them.

Emus are the second largest bird, while ostrich is the largest. Emus have three toes. They are generally farmed for their meat, oil and leather. Whereas an ostrich has two toes and they are farmed only for their meat and leather.

Do Emus mate for life?

Yes, emu animal mates for life with their partner. The male emu is known to incubate seven to ten eggs that are 5-6 in (12.7-15 cm) long. The chicks hatch from the eggs after a period of around 56 to 60 days. As the chicks are born, they start running with the adults.

Are emus good to eat?

Emus and ostriches meat are highly valuable. In fact, they are farmed for their meat. Emu meat is a good source of protein. As for the taste, emu tastes a lot like beef. In fact, some may find it even better than beef.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including secretary bird, or goose.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Emu coloring pages.

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