North african ostrich

Struthio camelus camelus

Flightless giants

Ostriches are the largest living birds on Earth. They cannot fly, but they have extremely powerful legs and toes. They mainly use their wings to defend their nests and perform courtship dances. Ostriches can reach speeds of 65 km/h.


  • Origin

    Sahel and Sudan

  • Habitat

    deserts, semi-deserts and savannahs

  • Diet

    Grasses, seeds, leaves, succulents, insects, small vertebrates

  • Status

    least concern

  • Size

    210 – 275 cm

  • Weight

    100 – 150 kg

  • Gestation period

    42 – 46 days

  • Achievable age

    up to 40 years

Threat Categories of IUCN

Communal nests

Ostrich males scrape shallow hollows in the ground to serve as nests. Each cock mates with several hens in his “harem” – all of which lay their eggs in one nest. The male and one main female hatch the eggs and raise all the young together.

Did you know?

An ostrich egg has a diameter of about 16 cm, weighs 1.5 kilos, and is 25 times the size of a chicken egg.
Ostriches have the largest eyes of all terrestrial vertebrates, with a diameter of 5 cm.

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