Ostriches (Struthio camelus) are a very large, long-legged, long-necked bird found in Africa. Just like penguins, ostriches are also incapable of flying. The ostrich, along with its close relative the Somali ostrich, is the largest living bird and lays the largest eggs. However, they are also known for their small brains, weighing only around 40 grams. Below, you will find ten facts that you probably didn’t know about ostriches!

Just a Myth That Ostriches Bury Their Heads in the Ground…

Contrary to popular belief, there has never been a documented instance of ostriches burying their heads in the ground when threatened, as often depicted in cartoons. [source]

Roamed Wild in Europe…

Ostriches used to roam across Europe, Arabia, and Asia until about 10,000 years ago. The last non-African ostrich subspecies that roamed wild and went extinct was the Arabian ostrich in the mid-20th century. [source]

That’s Why They Can Be Spotted With Zebras…

Ostriches and zebras often coexist to protect each other from predators. Ostriches have much better eyesight than zebras, while zebras can hear or smell danger better than ostriches. [source]

Eggs Incubated by Both Males and Females…

Ostrich eggs are incubated by females during daylight and by males at night, as the drab females blend into the sand, and the black males blend into the darkness of the night. [source]

Both the Largest and Smallest Egg…

Speaking of ostrich eggs; even though an ostrich lays the largest egg, it’s the smallest egg in proportion to the size of the bird. [source]

Their Feathers Are Used Extensively in the Car Industry…

Ostrich feathers are so effective at removing dust that car giant BMW uses a massive wheel containing thousands of feathers to dust car bodies before painting. [source]

World’s Largest Sandwich Was Eaten Before It Could Be Measured…

In 2008, an attempt was made in Iran to create the world’s largest sandwich using over 1,000 kilograms of ostrich meat. However, the sandwich was devoured by the crowd before the judges could verify the record. So, the record could never be properly documented. [source]

The Time It Takes to Boil an Ostrich Egg…

It takes about two hours to hard-boil an ostrich egg, equivalent to 24 hen’s eggs in size. If you’re not extremely patient in the kitchen, we recommend sticking to regular hen’s eggs. [source]

Rome Celebrated a Military Victory by Releasing Ostriches for the People to Hunt…

Ancient Rome celebrated a military victory by releasing 1,000 ostriches, 1,000 wild boars, and 1,000 deer in the Colosseum. The Roman citizens were then informed that they were allowed to take whatever they wanted, as long as they could kill the prey. [source]

North Korea Tried to Address Food Shortages with Ostrich Meat…

At one point, North Korea attempted to address its food shortage issues with ostriches. However, most of the ostrich meat ended up on the plates of the wealthiest and most powerful in Pyongyang. During the 1990s, North Korea heavily invested in ostrich farming, and there are several ostrich farms near the capital. [source]

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