Zoo visitors can have a glimpse of four types of flightless birds especially watching together in different enclosures side by side. It gives great opportunity to observe the major differences and also for the students interested to study the behavior aspects.
A number of flightless running birds, most of them of large size, lack a keel on their breastbone. These include the kiwis, ostriches, rheas, emus & cassowaries, & the extinct moas and elephant birds. Some birds stopped flying, probably, because they did not need to fly to escape enemies or obtain food with disuse their wings and flying muscles atrophied, and their keels eventually disappeared.
This Zoo has the following collection of flightless birds:
|1||Common Ostrich||Struthio camelus||2||1||0||3|
|2||Darwin’s Rhea||Pterocenmia pennata||1||1||0||2|
Ostrich: Ostrich is the largest of living birds. Adult males stand 8 feet tall and may weigh more than 300 pounds. The Ostrich lays the largest egg of any living birds.
Darwin’s Rhea: Emu standing 5-6 feet tall and weighing upto 120 pounds, is second in size only to the Ostrich among living birds. Emus are fast runners, credited with speed upto 30 miles an hour they also can swim well. Emus are largely on plant food, mainly fruit and berries they also eat insects and are fond of caterpillars. The Zoo has a pair of Rhea, and they are doing well.
Cassowary: These large, powerful birds are native to Northern Australia. Heavy bodied birds with short stout legs, cassowaries are forest dwellers. A distinctive feature is their large casque a bony helmet on the fore head, which they use to fend off obstructions as they are through the thick under growth. They are notoriously bad tempered, when a cassowary attacks. They can run at great speeds, reportedly upto 30 miles an hour. This Zoo has housed two males and we are attempting to get female companions to the male cassowaries.
Emu: Mysore Zoo has a separate incubation room with trained officials to monitor the eggs kept in the incubator from the beginning to end. We have hatched so far 20 young chicks.