Meet The Ratite Family

The ratite family, a fascinating group of flightless birds, includes ostriches, emus, cassowaries, and kiwis. What sets ratites apart is their inability to fly, due to the absence of a keel—a structure crucial for flight muscle attachment. Each bird in this family has its unique appeal, but when it comes to leather, there’s a clear hierarchy. Among ratites, the ostrich stands tall, not only in height but also in the superior quality of its hide, offering a level of elegance that emu leather simply can’t match.

Let’s meet the family:

The Ostrich (Struthio camelus)

The ostrich is the undisputed giant of the bird world, native to the savannas and Sahel of Africa. With their long necks and powerful legs, ostriches can sprint up to 70 km/h, making up for their flightless nature. They are the only ratites with two toes on each foot, an adaptation for their life on the run.

The Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

Half of the Australian Coat of Arms alongside the kangaroo, the emu is about half the size of an ostrich and the second-largest bird in the world. These brown-feathered nomads wander the outback. Emus play a significant role in Aboriginal culture and are known for their curious nature and deep, drumming calls.

The Cassowary (Genus: Casuarius)

Cassowaries are the rainforest warriors, sporting a vivid blue neck and a helmet-like casque atop their heads. Native to New Guinea and northeastern Australia.

The Kiwi (Genus: Apteryx)

The kiwi is the oddball of the ratite family and the national symbol of New Zealand. These small, nocturnal birds, with their long beaks and keen sense of smell, forage the forest floor at night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *