Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Dromaius novaehollandiae

Photo by Ian Barker (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
emu (en); emu (pt); émeu d'Australie (fr); emú común (es); große emu (de)

Order Struthioniformes
Family Dromaiidae

This species is endemic to Australia, being found throughout the Australian mainland. They were also found in Tasmania in the pat, but were quickly exterminated there after the Europeans arrived to the island.

These birds are 1,5-2 m long and weigh 30-60 kg.

The emu is found in various habitats including grasslands, dry savannas, sclerophyll forests and scrublands, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.600 m.

They feed on various fruits, seeds, shoots, insects and other small animals, and also animal dropings.

Emus breed in December-June. The nest consists of a platform of grass on the ground, up to 2 m wide. Several females may lay there eggs in the same nest, which may hold up to 24 eggs. The male incubates the eggs alone for 48-56 days. The chicks leave the nest 2-7 day after hatching and follow the male around for 5-7 months. Young emus reach sexual maturity at 18-20 months of age.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 630.000-725.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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