Facts about this animal
The emu is a ratite with small vestigial, a long neck and long, strong legs with three forward directed toes. It is the largest native bird of Australia. It stands about 180 cm tall, height of the back is about 1 m, and the body-weight may reach 55 kg. On an average, females are somewhat larger and darker than males.
Emus are fast runners. They are extremely well adapted to semi-arid conditions, and may wander large distances in response to seasonal conditions. They are usually silent but can communicate by loud booming, drumming and grunting sounds that can be heard up to two kilometers away.
The downy chicks will normally hatch after 48 - 52 days. At hatching, they stand about 25 cm tall and have a longitudinally striped plumage which is gradually replaced by a dark grey-brown juvenile plumage. After 4-5 months the stripes are no longer visible.
Did you know?
that the emu has a tracheal pouch, which is part of its windpipe? This tracheal pouch is used for communication. It is over 30 cm long and very thin-walled, and it allows the bird to produce deep guttural grunts. This pouch develops fully during the breeding season and is most frequently used during courtship.
|Name (Scientific)||Dromaius novaehollandiae|
|CITES Status||Not listed|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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|Habitat||Dry woodland, mallee, heathland, grassland, desert shrublands and sandplains. It is found in desert areas only after heavy rains.|
|Wild population||The global population is estimated to be 630,000-730,000 individuals.|
|Zoo population||1100 reported to ISIS (2008)|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 20 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
Find this animal on ZooLex
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United States Department of Agriculture
Why do zoos keep this animal
The emu is not an endangered species. Zoos keep them primarily for educational purposes, because of its evolutionary adaptation to a flightless life, its interesting social and reproductive behaviour, and as an essential part of Australian exhibits along with giant kangaroos and wallabies.