Cassowary Facts

Cassowary Facts
Cassowary is a member of a group of large, flightless birds called ratites. There are three species of cassowary that can be found in New Guinea and northeastern parts of Australia. Cassowary lives in wet tropical rainforests, lowland and highland dense forests. Because of the life in deep forests, this bird is rarely seen in the wild. Main threat to survival of the cassowary is deforestation and introduction of new species such as dogs, foxes and cats (which eat cassowary's eggs). Cassowary is listed as vulnerable species which means that it may become endangered in the near future.
Interesting Cassowary Facts:
Cassowary is very large bird. It is slightly smaller than emu and ostrich. Cassowary reaches 59 to 79 inches in height and between 55 and 129 pounds in weight. Females are larger than males.
Cassowary looks like an odd combination of ostriches and turkeys. It has large body covered in black feathers, bluish skin of the head and reddish neck. Upper parts of the legs are blue while lower parts are grey in color.
Color of the head and neck can change depending on the mood of cassowary.
Cassowary has a helmet like crest (casque) on the head. It is usually 6 inches long and reaches 6.7 inches in height.
Casque is used for self-defense. It prevents skull injuries during fights and ensures easier movement through the dense vegetation.
Cassowary is an omnivore (eats both plants and animals). It usually eats different types of fruit, seeds, shoots, fungi, small invertebrates and insects.
Cassowary has excellent eyesight and sense of hearing. They can easily detect low-pitched sounds.
Cassowary produces sound that can be heard on a distance of 3 miles.
Cassowaries cannot fly due to lack of chest bone that supports muscles used for flying. Even though they cannot fly, they are very fast runners. Cassowary can run 31 miles per hour and jump up to 5 feet in the air.
Cassowaries are also excellent swimmers that can swim long distances.
Cassowaries are ecologically very important animals. During defecation cassowaries release various undigested seeds and act like gardeners of the forests.
Mating season takes place from June to October. Males build nests where females lay between 3 and 8 eggs. Eggs are greenish-blue in color. Female can use several different nests to deposit her eggs.
Females are not responsible for the survival of eggs or young birds. Males are in charge for the incubation of the eggs that lasts 50 days. Also, males take care of the chicks until they reach the age of one year.
Young cassowaries are brown and covered in stripes. They will learn how to find food, catch insects, worms, snails and frogs from their guardian.
Cassowary can survive 12-19 years in the wild and between 40 and 50 in captivity.

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