Ostrich Pictures

Ostrich Silhouettes

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Pictures of ostriches, the tallest and heaviest species of all living birds. Although its bulky body means that flying is out of the question, the ostrich has adapted to life on the ground with impressive agility.

Although its bulky body means that flying is out of the question, the ostrich has adapted to life on the ground with impressive agility.

Ostriches Running

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Ostriches are superb runners that can sprint at speeds of up to 45 mph. The ostrich is also an endurance runner and can jog at a slick 30 mph for as long as a half an hour.

Wild Ostrich Running

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Ostriches belong to a clan of flightless birds called the ratites. Ratites have a smooth breastbone which lacks a keel. Ratites have lost their keel over the course of their evolution—the keel is the bone structure to which flight muscles would normally be attached. Since ratites do not fly, they no longer need a keel. Other ratites include cassowaries, kiwis, moas and emus.

Ostrich Pair

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Male and female ostriches differ slightly in their appearance. Males are mostly black but have white primary feathers and a white tail. Females and youngsters are greyish brown all over.

Ostrich Close-Up

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Ostriches have two toes on each foot, a characteristic that sets them apart from all other birds, which have four toes on each foot.

Ostrich and Eggs

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Ostriches lay 3-pound eggs, which measure some 6 inches in length and 5 inches in diameter, making them the title of largest egg produced by any living bird.

Ostrich Running

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Ostriches live in Africa and occupy a variety of habitats including deserts, semiarid plains, savannas and open woodlands.

Four Ostriches

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Ostriches have been the largest living bird for over five centuries, ever since the giant elephant birds of Madagascar went extinct.

Ostrich Pair

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Ostriches have a powerful kick that they put to use during the breeding season when males duke it out for control of harems. After breeding season finishes, males are much more cooperative with one another.

Ostrich Close-Up

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Ostriches have the largest eye of any living terrestrial vertebrate, measuring 2 inches in diameter.

Ostrich Dusting

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Ostriches eat mostly plant material, though at times they may also feed on insects and small vertebrates.

Two Ostriches

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During their 5-month breeding season, ostriches form flocks of between 5 and 50 individuals, often intermingling with grazing mammals such as zebras and antelope. When breeding season is finished, this larger flock breaks down into small groups of 2 to 5 birds.