How Fast Can An Ostrich Run? Surprising Facts You Won't Believe | Kidadl


How Fast Can An Ostrich Run? Surprising Facts You Won't Believe

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The ostrich is one of the few flightless birds that exists.

An ostrich makes up for not being able to fly by being one of the fastest land animals found in the African savannah. It is a majestic bird with wings that even though are big in size, do not provide enough support for the bird to fly.

This makes the ostrich use its long legs as the focal part of its survival in the wild plains of the African savannah, the north-west of Africa and southern Africa. It is an animal that is native largely to desert regions and the African savannah. There primarily exist two types of ostrich species. These are the Somali ostrich and the common ostrich. The plumage of these birds features vibrant colors, creating the view of them as rather distinctive birds. This bird has been made part of conservation projects since there was a growing pattern of the South African ostrich being hunted in order to make leather products as well as the hunting of the Masai ostrich.

Thankfully, governments have worked together to ensure ostriches are a part of protection programs. Since the bird is grounded, it was forced to adapt to becoming better and evading predators and hunters alike and over time developed body augmentations that allow it to run faster than almost every animal in the African savannah. If you want to catch a glimpse of this bird, head on an African safari for your next family holiday and have a fun and educational family experience. Spotting an ostrich running is nothing like you have ever seen before!

If you enjoy reading articles such as this one, why not check out these fun articles about how do snails get their shells and how do birds fly here on Kidadl!

How long can an ostrich run?

The ostrich is one of the few flightless birds to live in the plains of Africa and is only beaten by the cheetah, which is the fastest animal in the world.

The question is how far can an ostrich run and you will be surprised to know that it can reach speeds of up to 60 mph (96.5 kph), making it one of the fastest birds that run. 60 mph (96.5 kph) was the speed of the fastest ostrich recorded. This bird can comfortably maintain a slightly lower running speed for an hour. They truly are gifts from mother nature. Now while the bird may be able to reach such high speeds, it is not something that it keeps up every time it moves around. The ostrich is largely a prey animal, and hence it uses this ability of reaching high speeds in order to evade dangerous predators, most commonly wild dogs.

This bird does so by using its strong leg muscles to maintain a top speed of 60 mph (96.5 kph). The ostrich uses its long legs to reach, but they are not the only contributor. Since the wings do not let an ostrich fly, this bird uses them as a makeshift rudder system to turn while it runs and provides itself with stability and keeps itself perfectly balanced to run in a straight line. This combined with its powerful leg muscles means that the ostrich can run for over an hour at a high speed.

How far can an ostrich run?

While one would ask how fast can an ostrich run, we need to also know how far can it keep up this speed.

After all it cannot surely maintain a running speed of 60 mph (96.6 kph) for an extended length of time. This is in fact true and we now take a look at just how far can an ostrich run. The first thing to remember is that ostriches sprint only to get away from predators and poachers alike. This is when they reach their top speed. However, in case when they are not running away, the ostrich chooses to maintain a running speed of 30 mph (48.2 kph) by letting its light legs bounce and transition into a form of a jog to cover over miles and miles, or while traversing long distances during migration.

Here's a fun fact for you about an ostrich's light legs. They are the longest legs found on any flightless birds around the globe. With these long light legs, the ostrich can easily reach fast speeds while traveling over a long distance.

Ostrich running in desert

The Average Speed Of An Ostrich

Now that we now that ostriches are superb runners capable of breaking the 60 mph (96.5 kph) barrier, ostriches run at a lower speed too.

Their average speed is somewhere near 45 mph (72.4 kph). This is nothing short of a demonstration of the incredible muscle power and makes it quicker than some of the fastest animals. The high average speed is largely attributed to its elastic legs. The ostrich can run with strides longer than 12 ft (3.6 m)! It can focus on moving its legs faster, meaning focusing purely on speed, as it uses its low center of gravity and wings to provide balance. This combination of body adaptations has developed over centuries and are what lets an ostrich maintain its speed without falling over.

What is the fastest running bird?

We have discussed a lot about the ostrich and the speed but to really understand its speed we need to see how it performs against other animals and running birds, and it has plenty of competition!

The ostrich is in fact the fastest running bird in the world. It is closely followed by the emu from Australia. It is also interesting to note that a cousin species of the ostrich exist at the same time over in South America, rheas. They have long been under the care of gauchos. Another one are kiwi birds, which might not be as fast as an ostrich or even the emu, but still would be serious competition for an ostrich. While these birds give the ostrich competition, the fastest running bird would not even break a sweat when racing humans, making it impossible for a human to outrun this bird.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for ow fast can an ostrich run then why not take a look at how fast can a black bear run or how long do apes live.

Guitar-playing Siddharth can speak English and French and is a content writer for Kidadl.

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