Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Emu is the second largest bird in the world after its next of kin, the Ostrich, which is the largest one in the world.
Prologue of Emu
Emu is second in ranking after Ostrich who is the tallest in the World. For any human being their maximum height is from 150 to 190cm while Emus’s length is 139 to 164 cm. They are the 5th heaviest bird before the ostriches and cassowary came. Cassowary is the closest relative of Emu before Ostriches. Emus mainly live in diverse terrain but majorly live in Savannah and Sclerophyll forest because they like to live in a peaceful environment which is around the dusty region. Emus in Western Australia travel long distances for fodder purposes to different parts like in Summertime they go north and in winter south.
Scientific Classification of Emu
Animalia – Kingdom
Chordata – Phylum
Aves – Class
Palaeognathae – Infraclass
Casauriiformes – Order
Casuariidae – Family
Specification of Emu
Emus has a pale blue neck with a meager amount of feathers; tips of feathers are black and look like they have ugly features. Because black color prevents the sun rays, it is helpful for them on sunny days. Both genders look alike except in the case of the male when they eject its shows the private region. Their feathers differ according region-wise like in a dusty area with red soil, so it contains a little pint of red in feathers, and in the case of the moist region they have a dark shade of color. The younger ones develop the layer of feathers in three months and which is black-brown along with head and neck covered in dark. The feathers on the face are a little bit less and show purple. In the case of adult ones, they can grow in fifteen months. They have long necks and legs and run at a speed of 48 km/h due to their pelvic limb musculature. In their feet, they have 3 toes and it reduces the no. of bones and muscles in their foot. While walking, they take a long steps about 100cm and up to 275cm, legs are featherless, and below the feet are solid, velvety. Similar to cassowary, emus also have sharp claws which can protect from opponents by kicking. The toe and claw total 15cm in length and the bill is a bit a little 5.6 to 6.7cm which is smooth and can be nibbled. They have fine eyesight and hearing aid which gives benefit to them for quite a length of the range. Emus has a tracheal pouch that is more important in the time of mating period. At 30cm long, roomy with thin wall and open with 8cm in length.
Behavior of Emu
Emus spare their day-to-day time by searching for food, mud bathing, and being lazy. They relax when the sun sets and sleep at night. They can’t sleep consistently at night, mostly they sleep 7 hours in 24 hours. They go in deep slumber their neck went down near their body and their eyelids get shut down. If their no interpretation it takes 20 minutes to fall asleep. Emu got woken every 90 minutes while sleeping for some little snack and this stage only remain for just a few 20 minutes.
In the summer period, they blow some steam to maintain the body temperature because their lungs work as an air cooler not alike the other species. Emus has exceptional homeothermic power who can stay at -5 to 45 degrees celsius.
Diet of Emu
Emus eats a variety of plants and plants. It all depends on the season to season, such as Acacia, Casuarina, and grasses. Emus ingest insects and arthropods like cockroaches, crickets, moths, and so on. It provides protein from them. In Western Australia, their preferences have been set by the emus who move, feed seeds of Acacia aneura till the rain comes, later on, shift to green grasses and caterpillars, and in the cold season, they ingest on leaves and pods of Cassia and in spring they eat grasshoppers and fruit of Santalum acuminatium. They can cater to wheat or any other crop which is easily available even if they can go for an upper if needed.
Emus drink once a day for ten minutes without any interference, their drinking posture is kneeling down, and if any kind of jeopardy then they stay still rather than be down.
-by VANDITA PUROHIT