IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


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Emus have many physical characteristics in common with the ostrich, which are the only birds taller than the emu. Emus can reach a maximum height of 190 cm, with the average at 175 cm. Emus feet are similar in design to other running birds, having three forward-facing toes and no rearward-facing toes.  Emus have long bare legs, similar to other flightless birds Ratites. Emus are the only bird with calf muscles, making them more adapted to sprinting and long distance running. These strength adaptations allow them to sustain speeds up to 13.4 m/s, with an average 3 meter stride. The high strength of these legs allows them to perform extremely powerful kicks capable of breaking through fences or maiming predators. The average weight of an emu is 36 to 40 kilograms, with females being slightly by not significantly larger. Their plumage of shaggy dark brown feathers is not streamlined, as its main purpose is insulation from direct sunlight. This plumage has some variation due to environment, and will often reflect the general hue of its surroundings. Young emus will have additional camouflage in the form of longitudinal tan stripes on their much thinner plumage.  Emus have very small vestigial wings capable of flapping, although they do not aid in mobility. They have a long, sparsely covered neck that is whitish-blue. Their heads are covered in wispy black feathers, and have a large black beak specialized for grazing.

Range mass: 36 to 40 kg.

Range length: 190 (high) cm.

Average length: 175 cm.

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry


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Source: Animal Diversity Web


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