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Critter Guide
Birds: Ostrich


There are approximately 8,600 bird species in the world, and the ostrich is the largest and the heaviest, growing up to 10 feet tall and weighing as much as 400 pounds. They are flightless birds and the only bird with just two toes on each foot (other birds have three to four toes per foot). Despite their size, they are also the fastest bird and can run 40 miles per hour for 30 minutes, outrunning nearly any predator.

Where do they live?:

Ostriches are indigenous to the dry savannas of Africa, but are now found in countries all over the world.

What do they eat?:

Ostriches are mostly vegetarians, eating fruit, nuts, seeds, grain, and vegetables. But they will also eat insects and small lizards.

Critter Fact:

Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. If a predator threatens their nest, ostriches will lay their head against the sand to try to blend in with it.

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Did You Know?

Ostriches lay the biggest egg in the world -- 6 inches in diameter and weighing 3 pounds -- the equivalent of two dozen chicken eggs.