Why is it said that cassowaries are dangerous?

If you like dinosaurs, the cassowary will blow your mind! Considered a descendent of the extinct velociraptor, this bird has 12.7 centimetres long dagger like toes on its feet and a kick that would flatten Bruce Lee!

Native to Australia like the kangaroo and the koala, the cassowary is a striking specimen. It has a bright blue head with a fibrous hollow helmet-like casque and a long blue neck with colourful wattles. It is covered with rough black feathers that look like hair from a distance. It has long, thick and powerful legs that are covered with armour-like scutes. Each of its feet has three toes, with the innermost toe sporting a long dagger-like nail capable of disembowelling an unwary intruder with a single slash. Up close, it looks more suited to the world of Jurassic Park than normal life! Not for nothing is this bird called the most dangerous bird on earth!

It is the third tallest bird in the world after the ostrich and the emu, and the second heaviest bird after the ostrich. It can grow to a height of 5 feet 6 inches and weigh about 60 kg. Although it cannot fly, it runs pretty fast, reaching a speed of 50 km/h.

This bird is solitary in nature and loves to eat fruits. So much that some fruits are named after it – such as the cassowary plum. It likes to toss fruits in the air and swallow them whole. It will also eat plants, fungi, insects and small invertebrates when available.

Female cassowaries are larger than the males and make very carefree mothers. For instance, they will lay about 4 eggs and then leave the entire burden of parenting on the male! The male cassowary incubates the dark green eggs for 50 days and then looks after the chicks for nine months till they learn to become independent.

This incredible bird is listed as ‘Endangered’ and suffers from a loss of habitat and human encroachment.

Picture Credit : Google

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