HOW would you like to start your meal by eating pebbles? Not a pleasant way to dine, but to the amazing Ostrich there is nothing better. Hard objects pass at once into the bird’s stomach and from there they go to its second stomach, the gizzard. This functions like a mill, the food being ground up by action of muscular walls.
Some Amazing Facts About Ostrich
- Ostrich is the largest extant bird species on earth and lays the largest eggs
- Baby food for the amazing ostrich family is unusual. When the chicks are hatched, wet dung of the mother is an indispensable baby food. It supplies the necessary bacteria to start the baby’s digestive processes.
- These huge birds are raised not only for plumes but also for their skins, which are made into fine-quality leather.
How do they hatch their eggs?
- The hen sits during the daytime so that her grayish-brown feathers blend with the surrounding karroo bushes. The male sits at night for the same reason—for camouflage, his black-and-white plumage being invisible at night.
- Just before the eggs are due to hatch, the male will sit next to the female even during the daytime or stand next to her, throwing his shadow over her to protect her from the rays of the subtropical sun.
- Mother Ostrich lays from twelve to fifteen eggs. If a farmer removes these eggs, she will keep on laying, up to thirty eggs, providing a dummy egg is left in the nest. In this way three hatchings can be obtained annually instead of one.
- As might be expected of the world’s largest living bird, the eggs are huge and may weigh three pounds. The Grand Creator has made the provision that the germ is so suspended in the egg that, no matter how the egg is turned, the germ rises to the top so that the vital spot can be brought into contact with the warm body of the parent bird. The chicks hatch after incubating for six weeks.
- A chick lies folded up like a miniature umbrella inside the shell, with its feet and beak together. At the final stage of hatching, the chick kicks the shell open with its hard, bone-reinforced toenail. When grown up the ostrich may reach nearly eight feet tall and weigh as much as 345 pounds.
More amazing facts:
- A very graceful dancing bird – In spite of its hefty build, the ostrich is a very graceful bird. In fact, they have been seen dancing to the tune of a herdboy’s reed pipe. Or perhaps you would rather watch a male bird performing his courting dance? He sits on his haunches, spreading his wings out so that the shining white plumage is fully displayed while he moves his body slowly from side to side. The neck arches backward in swanlike elegance; the head beats with a dull thud alternately on either side of his body.
- The powerful call – The mating call is three deep growls followed by a shorter call. It can be heard at a distance of two miles and sounds like the roar of a lion.
- Amazing Runner – Though a flightless bird, the ostrich makes up for that by being an amazing runner. Its long legs can carry it at speeds of thirty or forty miles an hour.
- Ostrich legs are dangerous weapon for defense – If unable to run from danger, the ostrich does not hide its head in sand. Rather, it defends its nest by kicking with its powerful legs. The ostrich is unique among all birds in having but two toes on each foot, one of them equipped with a claw-like hoof that becomes a dangerous weapon when the bird is forced to defend itself.
- Certain characteristics of the ostrich that stagger scientist:
- It has a bladder that collects uric acid, an organ characteristic of mammals, but not possessed by any other family of birds.
- It also possesses eyelashes that protect its eyes from the blowing sand.
Truly the amazing ostrich gives credit to the wisdom of its Creator!