Ararat Ridge Zoo

Common Ostrich

The world’s largest and heaviest living birds may be flightless, but they can run 45 mph and cover 10–16 feet per stride!

Common Ostrich

Day of Creation: five
Biblical Kind: ostrich (includes the common and Somali ostriches)
Status: least concern
Height: 5.5 (females)–9 (males) feet
Weight: 200 (females)–350 (males) pounds
Habitat: deserts, scrubs, and savannahs of Africa
Lifespan: 20–40 years
Diet: roots, seeds, grasses, succulents, shrubs, insects, small vertebrates
Family Life: live in flocks comprised of a dominant pair, additional females, and their chicks
Reproduction: 7–13 eggs hatch after 40- to 50-day incubations

Fun Facts

Although ostriches, emus, rheas, cassowaries, and kiwis are usually grouped together under the term “ratites,” our researchers have determined that they each likely belong to their own distinct biblical kinds.

Contrary to popular belief, ostriches don’t bury their heads in the sand. If an ostrich can’t run away from danger, it may lay down and hold still with its neck and head stretched out on the ground in front of it, giving the illusion of burying its head in the sand.

Ostriches have excellent vision; in fact, their two-inch-wide eyes are the largest eyes of any land animal!

These birds have the largest eggs in the animal kingdom. At five inches wide and weighing about three pounds, each egg is equivalent to 24 chicken eggs!

Ostriches can tolerate extreme heat and survive their entire lives without water. They can eat foods most other animals cannot digest because they have tough intestines that are 46 ft long to absorb as many nutrients as possible from food.