5 Amazing Facts You Should Know About Emus

Photo by Arjan Pradhan on Unsplash

Emus are one of the first bird species that come to mind when someone mentions Australia, and they’re truly remarkable in more ways than one. If you’re in the mood to learn more about these flightless birds, here are five fun facts that will knock you off your feet.

Enormous Size

Emus can reach up to 1.9 meters in height and weigh up to 60 kg, and they’re the world’s second tallest bird after the ostrich.

Calf Muscles

Emus are the only bird species with highly developed gastrocnemius muscles. They make up for the lack of their flying abilities with leg power, and they’re known to be fast runners, high jumpers, and strong swimmers.

Three-Toed Feet

Emus’ three-toed feet are another reason behind their athletic abilities. They can run at high speed because their unique pelvic limb musculature includes feet with three toes.

Secondary Eyelids

Emus basically have two pairs of eyelids. Their translucent, secondary eyelids are protected by nictitating membranes, meant to keep the dust out of their eyes in windy arid regions.

Male Incubation

Emus have pretty unique incubation habits, and it’s common for males to incubate the eggs instead of females. Emu fathers tend to lose a third of their body weight while incubating the eggs because they barely eat or drink before the eggs hatch after around eight weeks.