Which are the modern running birds?

Do you have any idea about which are the modern running birds? There are several groups of birds alive today that are unable to fly.

Which are the modern running birds

These are the ostriches, rheas, emus, cassowaries, kiwis and penguins, and it is worthwhile considering why they cannot fly. You might think that enormous birds like the cassowary, emu and ostrich are too heavy to lift themselves into the air.

This is of course a factor but it is not the real reason why these birds have tiny wings and are unable to take to air. It was at one time thought that the modern flightless birds evolved separately from the animals that eventually gave rise to the flying birds. The flightless birds were assumed to have not yet developed the power of flight because their wings are still evolving.

This view is not longer held. It is now realized that the modern running birds did have flying ancestors, but that they lost the power of flight through disuse of their wings. Living in areas free from predatory enemies, the running birds have had no need to fly away from danger, and so have developed powerful legs and bodies of running about instead.

Which are the modern running birds

The flightless Australian Cassowary (below) is built like a bird battering ram, in contrast to the chicken-sized kiwi (right) which probes the ground for earthworms and grubs.

Why does the cassowary have a bony crest?

The bone ‘helmet’ of the Australian cassowary can be directly related to ties habit of chagrin through dense undergrowth at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour. This stocky, flightless bird comes from northern Australia and New Guinea and may be up to 5 feet high. It is rarely seen for it prefers to live in the middle of impenetrable rain forests and so not much is known about its habits in the wild.

Which are the modern running birds

At 5 to 6 feet high the emu is the second largest bird in the world. It lives in most undeveloped areas of Australia.

It is fairly obvious, however, that with its protective horny crest, powerful, wedge-shaped body, and long, flexible feathers, the cassowary is well equipped for forcing its way through thick jungle at speed.  A cassowary in a zoo once charged through the netting of its cage, leaving a clear out line of is body in the wire. 

What is the largest living bird?

Standing 8 feet high and weighing 300 pounds, the ostrich is easily the largest bird in the world. On African grasslands it has adopted the habits of a grazing animal and groups roam about feeding in the company of zebras and gazelles.

Which are the modern running birds

It is the male ostrich that display the prized plumage of long white feathers on the wings and tail. An ostrich has only two toes (above), an extreme adaptation for running at speed.

It is well adapted to this sort of habitat. Good eyesight and a long neck enable it to spot danger forms a long way off.Powerful thighs and long legs can carry it at 40 miles an hour out of harm’s way. It is the only bird with two toes, another feature which enables it to urn that much faster over the grassy plains.

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