The Tall, Long-Necked Ratites

Originally, I was going to do a post for each one, but I found that the subspecies all looked the same.  That was becoming an issue for previous posts where I didn’t know if I had the right subspecies.  So, I decided to simply make a big post about 4 of the 5 ratites.  One gets its own post next Sunday.

A ratite is usually a tall, long-necked flightless bird with the exception of the one we’ll see another day.  I’m sure someone will spoil it in the comments.  Anyway, this group includes the following animals:

  • Ostrich
  • Emu
  • Rhea
  • Cassowary
  • Moa (Extinct)
  • Elephant Bird (Extinct)

Early humans hunted the last two into extinction, so we only have skeletons.  This means we’ll stick to the four living ones.

Rhea, Emu, and Ostrich have all been sources of food and clothing decorations.  They have also been raised on farms to make sure they don’t go extinct.  Feathers have been popular decorations for centuries and their hide has been used to make leather.  Eggs have been used for food, water bowls, and art.  Their meat is fairly popular too.  I’ve actually had that and it’s surprisingly light.  Standing out, the Emu is also raised to make oil from their fat, which is used for medicine.

A few populations of the previous 3 are considered endangered, but they are not considered such as a whole.  Emus seem to have a history of being rather hardy and plentiful to the point where there was even a war.  In late 1932, the Australian government ‘declared war’ on a large Emu population and took military action.  The birds were destroying crops because of their large numbers.  Hard to sum the whole thing up, so check up the Wikipedia page.

You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned one of the ratites.  The cassowary differs from the others in many ways.  First, it prefers jungles to open plains like the others.  They are also considered ‘the most dangerous bird’ because they are capable of killing dogs and humans if provoked.  Their weapons are the claws on their three-toed feet with the middle one being a 5 inch dagger.  The cassowary is considered endangered.

Let’s get to the pictures and videos then.





About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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33 Responses to The Tall, Long-Necked Ratites

  1. Imagine that there was an extinct eagle that used to prey upon Moa. Sounds like something Gandalf could ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Very informative, Charles. I did not know how dangerous a cassowary could be. But we did own two ostriches and one point (someone else farmed them) and they were dangerous enough – they don’t have easy temperaments. You can get killed if one of them kicks you!


  3. Joel Smith says:

    I really enjoyed that post, there is a brilliant YouTube video documenting the “war on the emus” by a YouTube channel called Oversimplified if you get the chance it’s worth a watch.


  4. The cassowary is very dinosaur-like, don’t you think?


  5. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    See all the photos and videos on Charles’ original blog post.


  6. Marcia says:

    Thanks for another very informative and interesting post, Charles. Loved the videos, too. I’m hoping for some down time over the next three months, and plan to use some of it to catch up on prior posts in this series. Nothing makes me happier than learning more about the wildlife of our world!

    Great job with these fantastic birds. I’ve fed both ostriches and emus (thru protective fencing at our zoo, and with appropriate food the zoo provides) and standing next to them is something you don’t forget. Super series!


    • You’re welcome. It’s been fun writing these up. They’re not in-depth, but I figure they’re a good overview. Never fed ostriches or emus. I did go to a place that has a low fence pen where an ostrich was kept. I didn’t notice it and was leaning against the fence when it walked up to me. Not aggressive, but curious. I still jumped away though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marcia says:

        Ha! I can imagine having an ostrich sneak up on you would be startling! I’d jump, too! 😁 I think the level of depth you’ve used in what I’ve read of your series so far is perfect. Enough to be intriguing and entertaining, but not so much as to bore folks who aren’t as into wildlife as some of us are. I’m really enjoying the posts, and appreciate the series! 😊


      • Thanks. Glad to know I’m hitting the mark.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. That Emu running was hysterical. The baby ostriches were cute.


  8. They are all running like they want to win the world championship. Lol Unbelievable, the speed, and also their elegance. Thanks for sharing the information, Charles! Best wishes, Michael


  9. V.M.Sang says:

    Fascinating, Charles. I saw a programme about cassowaries not that long ago, and it said how dangerous they can be.
    But the most dangerous creature on planet Earth is us. We look like destroying everything.


  10. acflory says:

    Emu’s are pretty scary too. Wouldn’t like to annoy one. 😀


  11. Pingback: *Press This* The Tall, Long-Necked Ratites #250 | Its good to be crazy Sometimes

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