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Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand! This old saying probably originates from the fact that, when they spot danger, ostriches will lie low and press their long necks to the ground in an attempt to become less visible.

As the largest living bird, the ostrich is too heavy to fly. However, its long, powerful legs make it a very fast runner! At top speed an ostrich can reach up to 45 miles per hour and can run for as long as 30 minutes. As they run, they use their plumed wings as rudders to help them change direction quickly. When threatened, they also have a very powerful kick that can kill a human or a potential predator, like a lion.

Conservation status | Least concern

Fact Sheet

Scientific name

Struthio camelus






30-40 years

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