The largest bird on the planet is, rather ironically, the flightless ostrich. It also lays the largest eggs among any living land animal. Ostriches are also the fastest birds on land with an ability to run at 70 kilometres per hour. They are found in the African savanna and desert lands, where they meet most of their water requirements from the plants they eat.

Unlike other birds, ostriches use their wings as “rudders” to help them change direction while running. Their powerful and long legs cover about 3 to 5 metres in a single stride. These legs are also rather formidable weapons. An ostrich kick can kill a human or a potential predator such as a lion! Their feet have long, sharp claws too. Ostriches live in small herds with less than a dozen birds in one herd. They mostly eat plants, roots, and seeds but also consume insects, lizards, and other creatures that are found in this harsh habitat.

Although there is a popular belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand, this is not true. Perhaps the saying would have originated because of the bird’s defensive behaviour. When faced with trouble, ostriches lie low and press their long necks to the ground as a means to become less visible. Since their plumage blends well with sandy soil, from a distance, it gives the impression that they have buried their heads in the sand.

Picture Credit : Google

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