Australian animals part 10 of 12 (Emu)


The common Emu, the only type of several species that existed before European colonization, is a large flightless bird that exists only in Australia. They are a common sight in non-urban areas all over the country and, they are between 1.5 and 2m tall, they are usually quite easy to see. It´s even possible to hear them from a long distance, if they are making use of an inflatable neck sack to produce “booming”. “Booming” emus have been heard from distances as far as 2km away!

Emus are largely solitary animals, they only come together to mate and even then only until the female has laid the large, dark green eggs. Once the eggs are laid, the male emu will incubate them for around 50 days without eating, drinking, or leaving the nest at all. During this time the male will aggressively drive away other emus, even his mate! Once the eggs hatch the chicks will remain with the male for a time until they are mature, usually around 1 year.

Like other large, flightless birds the emu has been known to act aggressively when it feels cornered. This takes the form of kicking with its large 3 toed foot. With a sharp middle claw an emu kick is capable of killing the target under the right circumstances. Like other wild animals, emus should be appreciated from a distance and allowed to go about their lives undisturbed.

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