Ostriches are some of the most magnificent birds on this planet.
Not only are they incredibly tall, but their eggs are enormous too!
Some Interesting Facts about Ostrich
Ostriches can be found in open woodlands and hot savannahs across Africa.
A typical ostrich can weigh as much as 159 kilograms and be as tall as 2.7 meters in height.
This means that a general ostrich is at least one meter taller than a normal-sized man and heavier than two adult males combined.
Their body is covered with bulky feathers that allow them to mix into the sand.
Female ostriches are mostly brown, while male ostriches have black and white feathers.
Other than the color of their feathers, there are no other physical differences found between the male and female ostrich.
Ostriches are flightless birds with incredibly long necks and legs. Even though they cannot fly like most birds, they can run incredibly fast.
Their long, sturdy legs have the power to carry their bodies across the savannahs at a blazing fast speed for a significant period.
Their long strides help them protect against fierce predators such as lions, hyenas, leopards, and cheetahs.
Ostriches don’t only use their feet for running, but they also use the claw attached at the end to severely harm anyone who dares to threaten them!
Some Interesting Facts about Ostrich Eggs
If you want to learn more about Ostriches and Ostrich eggs, let’s dive right in!
You’d be interested to know that:
- An ostrich is the largest living bird compared to all bird species
- An ostrich has the largest egg size compared to other birds
- An ostrich egg can be 5.9 to 6 inches long, and around 15 to 17 inches in circumference
- The average weight for an ostrich egg can be 1.4 kilograms or 3.1 pounds
- A typical ostrich egg is pearl white but can also be found in other shades of white.
- The outer shell of an ostrich egg is very strong. With a thickness of 0.6 inches, the ostrich egg can resist a significant amount of pressure compared to other fragile bird eggs.
Even though the size of an ostrich egg is pretty huge, if you look at the egg-to-bird size ratio, then perhaps the ostrich egg is the smallest.
- A female ostrich can lay anywhere around 40 to 100 eggs in a year. If you calculate this further, then this roughly comes up to one egg after every three days!
- March and August are favorable egg-laying conditions for ostriches.
Ostriches are pretty fertile birds. If their conditions remain favorable, a healthy female ostrich can remain fertile & active for more than 25-35 years.
Also read: 10 Birds that Lay the Largest Eggs (with Images)
Ostrich Egg Laying Facts
- Female ostriches lay their eggs in a communal area. This area could be like a small ditch or a pit that all female ostriches use and cover once the eggs are laid
- Dominant female ostriches lay their eggs first while the other weaker members follow their lead
- Once the dominant female ostrich has laid its eggs, she may reject the eggs of the weaker ostriches before covering the pit
- Each ditch or pit can be shared among 2-7 female ostriches. With the special scent of the eggs, the females can easily recognize which eggs belong to them
Ostrich Egg Incubation Facts
Both male and female ostriches take part in incubating the eggs
There are many bird species on this planet where both male and female counterparts take responsibility for the egg
- The male ostriches incubate the egg at night while the female ostriches take over during the daytime.
- The double shift incubation practice helps the ostriches defend themselves and their eggs from other predatory species
- Since female ostriches are grayish brown, they can easily blend with the sand during the day
- Male ostriches have more black feathers compared to females, which is why they become invisible during the darkness at night
- The incubation period for ostriches lasts anywhere between 35-45 days.
- The pits or ditches where ostriches hide their eggs rarely survive due to predatory raids and attacks. Only 10% of the hidden eggs make it through the nesting season.
- Attacks from predators do not stop even when the eggs have hatched. Various predators like to hunt baby ostriches, so their survival rate from a baby to adulthood is fairly low.
An ostrich can live for more than 40 years if it manages to fend off predatory species all its life.
This life span is pretty impressive for a bird species.
Ostrich Egg Nutrition Facts
- An ostrich egg, if consumed, can provide a massive total of 2000 calories.
This calorie count is an average of what a human being needs in a day. This means that a person potentially needs one ostrich egg per day to complete their respective calorie count!
- An ostrich egg contains approximately 44% of fat and 47% of proteins, while the remaining percentage accounts for phosphorus, calcium, and vitamins. You can find a range of vitamins in ostrich eggs, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, thiamine, and even riboflavin.
- Ostrich eggs are also a minor source of selenium, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, and iron making them incredibly nutritious.
Ostrich Baby & Parenting Facts
- The offspring of an ostrich is larger than any other bird offspring in the species chart
- An ostrich baby chick can be as big as a full-grown hen at the time of its birth. That’s a pretty massive start!
- Just like the incubation period, both the male and female ostrich take responsibility for looking out for the baby chick.
- Under threatening circumstances, the male ostrich’s job is to lure away the predator while the female ostrich helps the chicks run and hide.
- An ostrich chick can grow to full height in about six months.
- It takes 3-4 years for a baby ostrich to reach full maturity. This is when its mating cycle begins.
What Are Ostriches Hunted For?
Just like several other bird species, ostriches are hunted for many things. These practices are found today in many parts of the world.
Ostrich eggshells are collected and used to make different kinds of artifacts. Some of these eggshell artifacts are sold for more than $100 to $150 around the world.
Since these shells are thick and strong enough to carry the weight of a fully grown man, they are supplied around the world after being engraved, hand-painted, and carved to people’s liking.
An ostrich is also hunted for its meat, feathers, and skin.
These items are supplied to various industries across several countries that use them as raw materials to create different products.
A popular product is ostrich feather dusters that people like to own because of their functionality, color, and usefulness.
For the past 150 years, ostriches have been raised in Africa for their feathers, hide, meat, and eggs. Instead of finding the largest population in the wild, ostriches are found in either farms or reserves.
Even today, there are more than 2 million ostriches in several parts of the world that are used for the same purpose.
Similar Ostrich Species
You would be pretty surprised to know that other bird species laid bigger eggs than an ostrich.
So, if you think that an ostrich egg is big, then extinct species such as the Elephant Bird of Madagascar and Giant Moa of New Zealand could lay even bigger eggs than that of an ostrich.
The only reason why the ostrich claims this title today is because both of these birds no longer walk the earth.
Did You Know?
- An ostrich has skinny legs that keep their large bodies balanced. Their leg-to-body proportion is perfect, which is why their body is always in the center of gravity, allowing them to move swiftly and quickly.
- Their long thin legs give ostriches incredible maneuverability and speed, which is why they can run up to 64 km/h for a significant period.
- Contrary to what’s shown in the media, ostriches do not bury their heads in the ground when they feel threatened. Instead, they tend to lie down with their heads against the ground. It only looks like an ostrich has buried its head in the sand because the color of its feathers matches the color of the sand.
- An ostriches’ best defense is its feet. They can pull off a strong kick forward to protect themselves from predators. According to the American Ostrich Association (AOA), an ostrich can even kill a lion with a strong kick.
- An ostrich has a unique shaggy look because its feathers do not hook together like other bird species. Instead, ostrich feathers hang pretty loose, facing downwards much like a shaggy tail.
Ostrich eggs are the largest bird eggs found today.
These incredibly tall birds can live out long and healthy lives, more than 50 years, under the right circumstances.
Therefore, it is important to save the planet and leave room for these beautiful bird species to thrive.
Other articles you may also like: