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Emu إميو

Class:   Aves
Order:   Struthioniformes
Family:  Dromaiidae
Species:Dromaius novaehollandiae

Occurs in Australia in all areas except rainforest and cleared land; rare in deserts and extreme north.

In mainland Australia, emu is widespread. It lives in eucalypt forest, woodland, mallee, heath land and desert shrub lands and sand plains. It is found in desert areas only after heavy rains have caused growth of herbs and grasses and heavy fruiting of shrubs. 


Emus are large birds. The largest can reach up to 2m (6 ft 7 inches) in height (1–1.3 m (3.2–4.3 ft) at the shoulder. Emus weigh between 30 and 60 kg (66–132 pounds).
They have small vestigial wings and a long neck and legs. Their ability to run at high speeds is due to their highly specialized pelvic limb musculature. Their feet have only three toes and a similarly reduced number of bones and associated foot muscles.

Emus live between 10 to 20 years; captive birds can live longer than those in the wild.

Emu prefers and seeks a very nutritious diet. They take the parts of plants that have the most concentrated nutrients: seeds, fruits, flowers and young shoots. They also eat insects and small vertebrates when they are easily available, but in the wild they do not eat dry grasses or mature leaves even if they are all that is available.

Emus predominately travel in pairs; they can form enormous flocks, which is an atypical social behavior that arises from the common need to move towards food sources. Emus have been shown to travel long distances to reach abundant feeding areas.
Emus are also able to swim when necessary.

The nest is a shallow depression located next to a bush, made of leaves, grass and bark. It holds 15-25 eggs, which come from several hens. During the period of incubation (56days), the male doesn't eat, drink, or defecate. Once the male starts sitting, many females move away, sometimes pairing with other males and laying further clutches. A few stay to defend the male on the nest, using their loud, booming call. Males are aggressive when the chicks hatch, driving the female away and attacking approaching humans. Newly hatched chicks weigh 440-500 g. The male stays with the chicks, though they lead him rather than the reverse. At 2-3 years of age, the young are fully mature and capable of reproduction.

Conservation Status:
IUCN Red List: Least Concern.
Emus have benefited from man's activities in inland Australia, because the establishment of watering points for sheep and cattle has provided permanent water where there was none before, and so much of Australia is unoccupied or used as open rangeland that the emu is in no danger of extinction.

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