By Josie  January 10th, 2023

Keep reading for a thorough comparative analysis

Emus and ostriches are the two largest birds to walk (yes walk, because neither can fly) our planet.

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But what distinguishes them?


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Let's start with the Emu!

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They are a flightless bird endemic to Australia.

What is an Emu?

It's easily identifiable due to its extensive legs with feet having three toes each.

They also have elongated necks and plump bodies with small wings.

Arthur Phillip initially reported the Emu in his book Voyage to Botany Bay issued in the year 1789.


Their scientific name (Dromaius Novaehollandiae) literally means “fast-footed New Hollander” in latin

He called it “New Holland Cassowary.”

Emus will always favor spacious and aerated places that are not densely populated- – meaning they live a secluded life.

Owing to their characteristic adaptation features, they are well suited for many climatic conditions.

Where they live

They are endemic to Australia.

The incubation responsibilities are to be carried out by the male Emu.

When the eggs hatch, babies weigh roughly about 18 ounces. After one year they're fully matured.


At one time, the female bird lays anywhere between 5 to 15 eggs, which are a combination of blue and teal.

#3 One of the most interesting features possessed by Emus is their inability to move backward; they can only move in the forward direction.

Fun Facts

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#1 An Emu’s nest measure approximately 5 feet in width.

#2 They are fast-running birds that can dart at rushing speeds of 30 mph.

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Now for the Ostrich!

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The Ostrich is the largest bird on Earth.

What is an Ostrich?

Ostriches measure about 9 feet in height, an average bird’s weight typically exceeds 330 lbs.

One can easily tell male and female birds apart owing to their feather color.

Males are black with some white in the wings, and females are brown.

One of the earliest found fossils is that of the genus Struthio, which dates back to around 21 million years.


This fossil was found in Namibia, it is believed that the respective genus has an African origin.

Ostriches, by nature, are free birds who prefer open spaces, particularly the arid regions like Savannah and Sahel in Africa.

Where they live

Although the bird is transported and bred in various regions of the world, owing to multiple reasons, the bird officially belongs to Africa.

Male birds flatter the female with their attractive features and muscular bodies.

A female Ostrich lays 7-10 eggs, each egg being 6 inches long and 3 pounds in weight.


Babies are the size of a chicken at birth, and then develop at a fast pace with a growth pattern of 1 foot on average per month.

#3 The birds living in the wild enjoy a lifespan of 3 to 40 years, whereas birds in captivity can live up to 70 years of age.

Fun Facts

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#1 The male Ostrich is capable of producing a sound that sounds almost like a lion’s roar.

#2 Their brain is equivalent to the size of a walnut, meaning it is smaller than their eyeballs.

There you go! Now you're basically an expert on the world's largest birds.

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