ostrich bird
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ostrichbirdOstrich Large flightless bird living in Africa and parts of Southwest Asia, allied to the emu, rhea, and a the extinct moa. Some males reach a height of 8 ft. and weigh from 200 to 300 lbs. The ostrich runs at great speed with wings out spread.

They have two toes on each foot, the inner of the two is much larger and bears most of the birds weight. When and they can inflict a serious injury by kicking. In both sexes the head, neck, and thighs are bare or scantily feathered. The males plumage is glossy black with beautiful long white plumes on the wings and tail.

The female is a dull grayish brown. Usually the polygamous male has from 2 to 6 females in his flock. The cock scoops an find a hollow for the eggs , which weigh nearly 3 lbs. each. One of the females incubates the eggs during the day, and the cock takes over at night.

During the 19th century high fashion for ostrich plumes, farms were established in South Africa and later in North Africa, Australia, and Europe; of the first World War fashions changed and the industry collapsed. The Australian emu is related to the ostrich.

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