is a emu a bird

emu, (Dromaius novaehollandiae), flightless bird of Australia that is the second largest living bird: the emu is more than 1.5 metres (5 feet) tall and may weigh more than 45 kg (100 pounds). The emu is the sole living member of the family Dromaiidae (or Dromiceiidae) of the order Casuariiformes, which also includes the cassowaries.

The common emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is stout-bodied and long-legged, like its relative the cassowary. Both sexes are brownish, with a dark gray head and neck. Emus can dash away at nearly 50 km (30 miles) per hour; if cornered, they kick with their big three-toed feet. Emus mate for life; the male incubates 7 to 10 dark green eggs, 13 cm (5 inches) long, in a ground nest for about 60 days. The striped young soon run with the adults. In small flocks, emus forage for fruits and insects but may also damage crops. The peculiar structure of the trachea of the emu is correlated with the loud booming note of the bird during the breeding season. Three subspecies are recognized, inhabiting northern, southeastern, and southwestern Australia; a fourth, now extinct, lived on Tasmania.

Diet An emu foraging in grass

Emus consume a range of native and exotic plant species and follow a diurnal feeding schedule. The diet is based on seasonal availability, favoring plants like grasses, acacias, and casuarina. [30] In addition, they consume various arthropods such as crickets and grasshoppers, beetles, cockroaches, ladybirds, larvae of the cotton-boll and bogong moths, ants, spiders, and millipedes. [30][49] This provides a large part of their protein requirements. [50] Traveling emus in Western Australia have been observed to have specific dietary preferences. They eat Acacia aneura seeds until the rains come, at which point they switch to fresh grass shoots and caterpillars; in the winter, they feed on Cassia leaves and pods, and in the spring, they eat grasshoppers and the fruit of Santalum acuminatum, a type of quandong. In addition, they have been observed to consume wheat, fruit, and other crops that they can reach, with ease scaling tall fences when needed [33][51]. [50] Emus play a significant role in the spread of large, viable seeds, which enhances the diversity of flowers. Emus eating prickly pear fruit in the outback of Queensland in the early 20th century was one unfavorable consequence of this [51][53]. They dispersed the seeds wherever they went, which prompted a number of initiatives to hunt emus and stop the spread of the invasive cactus seeds. [50] One of the first instances of biological control occurred when an introduced moth (Cactoblastis cactorum) eventually took control of the cacti by feeding its larvae on the plant. [54] The δ13C of the calcite in an emus’s egg shell reflects the δ13C of its diet. [55].

To aid in the breakdown and digestion of the plant material, small stones are swallowed. Individual stones may weigh 45 g (1. 6 oz), with the birds potentially possessing up to 745 g (1 642 lb) in their gizzards at one time. They also consume charcoal, though it’s not quite clear why. [33] It has been reported that captive emus have consumed marbles, glass fragments, jewelry, car keys, nuts, and bolts. [50].

Emus don’t drink much, but when the chance presents itself, they drink a lot. Once a day, they usually kneel down at the edge to drink after first surveying the water body and its surroundings in groups. When they drink, they would rather be on solid ground than on rocks or mud, but if they feel threatened, they will frequently stand rather than kneel. If not disturbed, they may drink continuously for ten minutes. Emu sometimes have to go without water for several days due to the lack of water sources. They frequently share water holes in the wild with other animals, like kangaroos, but they are cautious and usually wait for the other animals to go before drinking. [56].

Relationship with humans Stalking emu, c.

Both early European settlers and native Australians used emus as a food source. Emus are curious birds that will approach people if they notice an unexpected movement of a limb or article of clothing. In the wild, they may follow and observe people. [56] Indigenous Australians employed a number of methods to capture the birds, such as spearing them as they drank from waterholes, ensnaring them in nets, and luring them in by mimicking their calls or piqueing their interest with a rag-and-feather ball dangling from a tree. [68] A waterhole could be contaminated with the pitchuri thornapple (Duboisia hopwoodii) or another poisonous plant, making it simple to capture the confused emus. Another tactic was for the hunter to disguise themselves as a skin, and then use rags or fake calls to entice the birds into a pit trap that was disguised. Indigenous Australians hunted emus only for food, and they disapproved of anyone who killed them for any other reason. Every component of the carcass served a purpose; the tendons were used in place of string, the feathers were used as body adornment, the bones were shaped into knives and other tools, and the fat was extracted for its valuable, multipurpose oil. [75].

The early settlers from Europe killed emus for food and used their fat to light lamps. [75] They also attempted to stop them from interfering with agricultural practices or overrunning communities in drought-stricken areas in quest of water. The Emu War in Western Australia in 1932 served as an extreme illustration of this. During a dry spell, emus flocked to the Chandler and Walgoolan area, destroying crops and damaging rabbit fencing. The army was called in to use machine guns in an attempt to drive them away, but the emus mostly evaded the hunters. [75][76] Emus are big, strong birds with some of the strongest legs of any animal, capable of tearing down metal fences. [36] Emu attacks on humans have been documented twice, and the birds are fiercely protective of their young. [77][78].

Economic value

For Aboriginal Australians, the emu was a major source of meat in the areas where it was endemic. They applied the fat to their skin and used it as bush medicine. It was used as an important lubricant, to oil wooden implements and tools like the coolamon, and to create the customary paint for ceremonial body decoration by combining it with ochre. [79] Their eggs were also foraged for food. [80].

The Arrernte people of Central Australia gave us this example of emu cooking, which they called Kere ankerre:

Early European settlers used the birds as food and fuel, and they are now farmed for their meat, oil, and leather in Australia and other countries. Commercial emu farming started in Western Australia around 1970. [82] To protect wild emus, licenses are required in every state but Tasmania, and the nation’s commercial sector is built on stock bred in captivity. Outside of Australia, emus are raised on a massive scale in North America, where there are approximately a million birds raised in the US, China, Peru, and, to a lesser extent, a few other nations. In order to prevent leg and digestive issues brought on by inactivity, emus are housed in spacious open pens and breed well in captivity. Usually fed grain with grazing as a supplement, they are killed between the ages of 15 and 18 months. [84].

In 2012, the Salem district administration in India gave farmers advice not to invest in the heavily promoted emu business, citing the need for more research to determine the profitability of raising the birds in India. [85] In the United States, it was reported in 2013 that a large number of ranchers had left the emu industry; the number of growers was estimated to have decreased from over 5,000 in 1998 to 2,000 or fewer in 2013. The remaining growers are increasingly dependent on oil sales to make a living, though they also sell leather, eggs, and meat. [86] 1807 plate depicting island emus, which are now extinct, brought to France in 1804 for breeding

Although extensive testing has not yet been conducted, there is some evidence that the oil has anti-inflammatory properties [88, 87]. Pure emu oil is considered an unapproved drug by the USDA, which brought this to light in a 2009 article titled “How to Spot Health Fraud.” [89] Still, the oil has been associated with a reduction in gastrointestinal inflammation, and rat experiments have demonstrated that it significantly reduces arthritis and joint pain compared to olive or fish oils. [90] It has been demonstrated by science to speed up the healing of wounds, however the exact mechanism underlying this effect is unknown. [90] According to a 2008 study, emu oil has a higher ratio of unsaturated to saturated fatty acids than ostrich oil, which explains why it has greater anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. [88][90][91] Emu oil is marketed and promoted as a dietary supplement with a wide range of purported health benefits, despite the fact that there are no scientific studies demonstrating its effectiveness in humans. Commercially marketed emu oil supplements are poorly standardised. [92] Engraved Emu egg.

Because of a raised area around the feather follicles in the skin, emu leather has a unique patterned surface. It is used to make wallets, handbags, shoes, and clothing, frequently in combination with other leathers [86]. Feathers and eggs are utilized in ornamental crafts and artwork. Emptied emu eggs in particular have scenes and cameo-like portraits of native Australian animals engraved on them. [93] Traveling silversmiths who created a new Australian grammar of ornamentation created mounted emu eggs and emu-egg containers in the shape of hundreds of goblets, inkstands, and vases during the second half of the nineteenth century. All of these items were lavishly decorated with images of Australian flora, fauna, and indigenous people. [94][95] They carried on age-old customs that date back to the thirteenth-century European mounted ostrich eggs, as well as Christian symbolism and ideas of virginity, fertility, faith, and strength. Released from its roots in a society dominated by court culture, the traditional ostrich-egg goblet was creatively made novel in the Australian colonies as forms and functions were invented to make the objects attractive to a new, broader audience. This was a sign of pride for a society of settlers who sought to bring culture and civilisation to their new world [96]. Designers Adolphus Blau, Julius Hogarth, Ernest Leviny, Julius Schomburgk, Johann Heinrich Steiner, Christian Quist, Joachim Matthias Wendt, William Edwards, and others[98][99] were notable figures in the field and possessed the necessary technical training to establish successful enterprises in a nation abundant in raw materials and with a market eager for antiques. [100].

Emu is used for farming and occasionally kept as a pet; however, for a healthy life, they need enough room and food. In the United Kingdom, emus were once governed by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act. However, after the act was reviewed in 2007, modifications were made that allowed emus and several other animals that were also governed by the act to be kept without a license because they were deemed to be less dangerous. [101].

FAQ

Is an emu a bird or an animal?

emu, (Dromaius novaehollandiae), flightless bird of Australia that is the second largest living bird: the emu is more than 1.5 metres (5 feet) tall and may weigh more than 45 kg (100 pounds).

Are emus in the bird family?

Dromaiidae
ABOUT. Tall and majestic, the emu belongs to a group of flightless running birds known as ratites, the most primitive of the modern bird families. The ratite family includes the kiwi, ostrich, cassowary, and rhea, all birds found only in the Southern Hemisphere.

What is a emu classified as?

Systematics. The emu was long classified, with its closest relatives the cassowaries, in the family Casuariidae, part of the ratite order Struthioniformes. An alternate classification was proposed in 2014 by Mitchell et al., based on analysis of mitochondrial DNA.

Is emu a bird that Cannot fly?

Answer and Explanation: Emus cannot fly because their wings are fairly short while their bodies are quite heavy. Emus are the second-tallest bird on Earth (only ostriches are taller) and the fifth-heaviest, meaning that they are simply too large to develop the lift needed for a bird to get off the ground.