Emu Facts: Everything You Need To Know About The Excellent Emu | Kidadl


Emu Facts: Everything You Need To Know About The Excellent Emu

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Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is a massive flightless bird that is found in Australia and New Zealand.

Emu is an Australian native and is the tallest Australian bird; after its ratite cousin, the ostrich, it is also the world's second-largest bird with long legs and brownish feathers. The emu, scientifically called Dromaius novaehollandiae, is linked to the cassowary, which is a smaller but heavier relative of the emu.

It should also be mentioned that it is believed that when the European immigrants came in 1788, there were four distinct populations of emus. It's believed that the emu birds present on the mainland of Australia and those on Tasmania's island are two separate species. There were also two varieties of insular dwarf emus on Kangaroo Island and King Island in Tasmania. Island dwarfism is exemplified by these emu birds. The variety on King Island died out in 1805, the one on Kangaroo Island died out in 1827, and the one on Tasmania died out in 1865.

Fruit, grass, green plants, berries, flowers, seeds of the mulga bush, other plants, and insects such as ants, crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers, moths, and ladybirds larvae make up an emus' omnivorous diet. Stones and pebbles are also required to aid in the digestion of plant matter and seeds. Charcoal has also been documented to be a part of an emu's diet.

Emus travel great distances and cover large ground in search of food. They wander on foot with the help of their long legs and wide toes, traveling great lengths at a stretch in search of plentiful food grounds. Emus forage for food and seeds at different times of the day.

Emus are an intriguing species that make the most of their harsh surroundings. They eat everything they can get their hands on and take advantage of whatever waterholes they come across.

If you like reading about emu birds, you should read further to know about them in detail. The answer to the question about what is special about emus lies below! There is a lot of information available on the emu species below, and lots of curious questions have been answered for you. So get going to read: are emu dangerous, or about emu reproduction. Also, you could check out our other facts articles on what do emus eat and emu vs. ostrich.

What is special about emus?

Emus are very vociferous birds with various uniquely fascinating features.

One of their vocalizations is a loud booming noise produced by an inflating neck sac with a thin wall that measures around 12 in (30 cm) in length. They also emit a deep-throated drumming sound and grunting sounds. Their sounds may be heard up to 1.2 mi (2 km) distantly in certain cases.

Emus are migratory bird species. Despite the fact that they may form vast flocks, they usually move in pairs. They migrate in a seasonal pattern, often north in the summer and south in the winter; however, eastern emus follow no such trend.

Emus can swim when the occasion calls for it. They are unafraid of humans and have been seen to approach small groups of people and take whatever food is available.

Because of the desert habitat in which they live, emus can go for days or even weeks without any water or drink, but when they do drink, they drink a lot.

Are emus dangerous?

Emus are linked to cassowaries, and being the world's most deadly bird, they have a sturdy body and tall, muscular legs.

It is their feet that make them the most hazardous. Emus have big, three-toed feet with claws and they use their feet to kick if cornered. Emus may use their tall feet to disembowel other animals. Human fatalities from emus are uncommon; however, they have been known to attack humans when threatened in a zoo or the jungle.

Emus in their native Australia, as well as zoo and wild animal parks across the world, may attack and injure people without hesitation if they perceive them as threats.

Emus might be aggressive, but they can also be amiable! Emus are friendly and inquisitive, but they must be treated with caution and care at all times. Emus, like other creatures, are one-of-a-kind species and have distinct personalities. Due to their brooding inclinations, male emus are generally calmer than female emus, yet they are still animals who can be threatening.

Emu Reproduction

The emu is a solitary bird.

Young chicks, on the other hand, remain with their father until they are 18 months old. Between February and July begins the mating season of emus, when females lay between 5-15 eggs in a ground nest made by the male. After that, the male waits on the eggs for eight weeks until they hatch.

The young chicks' feathers have distinct stripes that serve as concealment.

In the hot months of December and January, the breeding season begins, and mating takes place in the colder months of May and June. Male incubation is a part of the emus' breeding behavior because the male goes through hormonal changes during the mating season.

Male emus are excellent parents. Males lose their appetite when the egg-laying time approaches, and they begin to build a nest from bark, sticks, leaves, and grass. The female emu deposits her eggs in the nest made by the male. These emu eggs are enormous, thick-shelled, and dark green in color.

Females then leave the brooding to the male emu. The female emu mates with several males and have several batches of dark green eggs on any other nest. The male waits on the nest for the following weeks after the eggs have been set, gently flipping the green eggs somewhere around 10 times every day.

A typical egg laid by a female emu is generally 5 in (12.7 cm) long and might weigh somewhere around 2 lb (900 gm).

The male emu may lose a third of its body weight while brooding the clutch of eggs as it does not eat during this period. It lives solely on fat reserves present in its body while brooding the eggs in the nest. The male emu stays with the emu chicks in the nest for the following 18 months after the eggs hatch, teaching the chicks to forage for food.

Chicks are active very immediately after hatching. They are around 5 in (12.7 cm) in height and weigh 1 lb (450 gm). Emu chicks have characteristic cream and brown diagonal stripes that disappear after around three months to aid with hiding. When chicks are 12–14 months young, they are completely matured. In nature, an emu's lifespan is between 10-12 years.

Emu in park.

Their Relationship With Humans

Early European settlers and indigenous Australians both ate emus as a source of food.

Emus are curious birds who have been known to approach individuals if they notice a limb or item of clothing moving unexpectedly. They may follow and inspect people in the wild.

To trap the birds, Aboriginal Australians employed a range of methods, including spearing them as they drank at waterholes, capturing them in nets, and luring them by imitating their sounds or piquing their interest with a ball of feathers and rags hanging from a tree.

Early European settlers slaughtered emus for sustenance and used their fat to light their lanterns. They also sought to keep them from disrupting farmland and assaulting villages in quest of water during droughts.

Distribution And habitat

In mainland Australia, the emu is widespread, yet it avoids densely populated areas, desert ground, and deep forests due to the threat of wild animals.

They may live in a variety of environments across Australia, although the most frequent are grasslands, savanna woodlands, and sclerophyll forests.

Emus were previously widespread on Australia's east coast, but as the human population has grown, they have become rare. On the other side, the growth of farms and the availability of water for livestock has expanded emu's range in desert (dry) areas.

Emus are also found in the zoo.

Emu Physical Characteristics

Emus are overly similar to their cousin animal, the ostrich, in appearance.

The emu is a tall bird and can attain a height of 6.5 ft (2 m) and can weigh somewhere around 99 lb (45 kg). Both male and female emus are comparable in features. However, females are often bigger than males.

Emus have a shaggy look with pointed downy feathers on their head, and soft and deep brown feathers on their plumage. The energy from the sun is absorbed by the tips of their feathers, and the loose-packed interior plumage of feathers shields their coat and skin from the heat, enabling the emu to stay active throughout the heat of the day. When the weather is really hot, the emu pants to keep its body temperature stable.

Emus have enormous, multi-folded nasal chambers that enable them to inhale normally in chilly conditions. Emus have long, muscular legs and strong feet, and can sprint at great rates despite their inability to fly.

On the sides of their faces and around their necks, they have naked skin. They have two huge legs, with three toes on each of their feet. Their wings are mostly buried behind their feathers. Emus have a grazing-adapted soft pointed beak and huge golden brown to black eyes.

Their lengthy necks feature blue-colored flesh that is apparent throughout their light neck feathers. They have two hidden wings under their feathers and a highly unique pelvic limb muscle that helps them sprint very quickly. Emus also have gastrocnemius muscles on the rear part of their lower legs, which are similar to human calf muscles.

Emu Conservation Status

Emus are bred for their oil, hide, and flesh.

They are fairly common birds with a population estimated to be approximately 725,000. In zoo, there are roughly 1100 emus. Emu estimates flutter based on precipitation from decade to decade.

Owing to habitat degradation, car crashes, animal attacks, and the development of feral dogs and pigs, the conservation status of several isolated emu populations is categorized as Endangered.

How can we help emus?

Dingoes and wedge-tailed eagles are among the emu's predators. Snakes and other nest-raiders aren't the only animal or creature that eats emu eggs.

Humans also raise emus for meat and eggs. An omelet made from one emu egg can serve four to six individuals. Therefore, desert animals are not the only predators to the conservation status of emus.

To help the emus, we have to cultivate a habitat for them that suits all their needs and fulfills all of their basic requirements. This habitat should include the optimum amount of food sources to eat and the optimum conditions of survival for emus, along with protection from wild animal and human interference.

Humans also would have to introduce laws, especially in Australia to curb emu hunting and their killing for the purpose of food, oil, and eggs in order to protect their populations.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for emu facts then why not take a look at birds symbolism or dodo bird facts.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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