Are Emus Dangerous Or Friendly?

When you think of dangerous animals, you probably do not think of birds, right? Well, believe it or not, there are some birds that are fairly dangerous. Aggressive birds are not something of a fiction. Here, we take a look at emus and see if they are dangerous and aggressive or friendly and sweet. 

Are emus dangerous? Emus are closely related to cassowaries, and as the most dangerous bird in the world, emus are stout-bodied and have long, strong legs. These birds can run at speeds up to 30 miles per hour, but the thing that makes them most dangerous is their feet. Emus have large, three-toed feet, and when cornered, they will kick. These feet allow emus to disembowel other animals.

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According to Britannica, these are the five most dangerous birds in the world: 

1.   Cassowary  

2.   Ostrich 

3.   Emu 

4.   Lammergeier 

5.   Great horned owl 

While human fatalities from emus are rare, they are known to attack humans. In a single year, there will be about 100 attacks resulting in injuries from emus in their native Australia as well as in zoos and wild animal parks around the world.  

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Are emus friendly? 

While emus can be dangerous, they can also be friendly! Emus are affable and curious, but they should always be treated with caution and respect. Like all animals, all emus are unique and have different personalities. Male emus tend to be a bit tamer than female emus, due to their brooding instincts, but they are still wild animals and can be dangerous. 

What do emus eat? 

Since these birds are so big and they can be dangerous, you may be wondering what they eat. Emus eat the nutritious parts of plants, like the seeds, fruit, flowers, or shoots. They will also eat insects and small vertebrates, such as scorpions and spiders. Plus, emus will eat pebbles, rocks, or charcoal in order to help their gizzards grind up food! They will eat pebbles that are as big as 1.6 ounces!  

Where do emus live? 

Where do emus live?
Where do emus live?

Emus live in Australia and they are very widespread there. At one point, there were subspecies of emus that lived in Tasmania and on King Island, but sadly, these birds are now extinct.

In Australia, emus can be found in a variety of habitats like in eucalyptus forests, woodlands, heathlands, desert shrublands, and sand plains. Sometimes, after heavy rains, emus can be found in the deserts, after the rain has caused the growth of herbs, grasses, and shrubs in the desert. Emus can also be found living near the large cities in Australia. 

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Can emus fly? 

Emus do have wings and feathers, but they cannot fly. Why is that? For birds to be able to fly, they need to have strong wings that are able to propel their body upwards.

Emu’s wings are only about 7 inches long – making their wings smaller than a crow’s! Plus the feathers that are on emu’s wings are not of good flying quality. Instead, their feathers are more like shaggy fur.  

Scientists believe that at one point, emus could fly, but they since have lost that ability due to evolution. They believe that the only real predator to emus were dinosaurs and when dinosaurs became extinct, emus had no need to fly and they became lazy. Eventually, they evolved into flightless birds.  

Some other flightless birds are penguins, steamer ducks, wekas, ostriches, kiwis, and cassowaries.  

Are emus and ostriches related? 

Emu vs Ostrich
Emu vs Ostrich

Emus and ostriches are practically cousins. They are both members of the ratite family. This family is a group of flightless birds that lives throughout the Southern Hemisphere. In many ways, they look similar: both birds have long, featherless necks, strong legs, and dagger-like claws. But there are some notable differences too.

While you may think that emus are big, just wait until you hear about ostriches! Emus usually grow to be about 80 to 90 pounds. Ostriches, on the other hand, can grow to be up to 265 pounds! And while emus are omnivores, ostriches tend to have a strictly herbivorous diet (although some ostriches may eat insects).

Another difference is where they live. While emus live in Australia, ostriches are found in Africa.  

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