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Of all birds, ostriches are amazing and are distinguished by their unique appearance, long legs, and great speed. But did you ever ask yourself: just how much does an ostrich weigh? Being the world’s largest bird, this subject becomes of big concern.
In this article, we take you through all interesting facts and everything you need to know about the weight of an ostrich. We explore deeper, from the physical characteristics of ostriches to the primary factors that determine their weight.
Photo Courtesy of Unsplash
Physical Characteristics of An Ostrich
Before jumping straight into what they weigh, let’s first appreciate some of the distinctive characteristics of ostriches. Well first, it’s good to know that ostriches are classified under the order ratite and there exist only two species of these flightless birds; Struthio camelus and Struthio molybdophanes. And whereas Struthio camelus are majorly found in Africa the Struthio molybdophanes are mostly seen in Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti.
Although they can’t fly, ostriches are known to be the fastest birds in the world. They are quickly distinguishable by their short wings, long necks, round bodies, and unique feather patterns. Moreover, ostriches have fluffy and soft feathers unlike other normal birds. They are definitely unlike other avian species.
Another important feature to note is their striking long and powerful legs. This explains why ostriches can sprint at top speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. And not only does it explain speed, their strong legs also enable them to give powerful kicks to any opponent that appears to be a potential threat.
Now, without wasting time, lets dive into today’s question…
How Much Does An Ostrich Weigh?
According to African Wildlife Conservation, the weight of an adult ostrich may fall between 100-145 kilograms (220-320 pounds). However, some ostriches may weigh much over 320 pounds. This is due to several factors such as diet, sex, and age.
Nevertheless, it’s important to know that the weights of female and male ostriches normally differ. The roosters or the male ostriches typically weighs far much more than the female ostriches (hens). Thus, male ostriches may weigh ranging from 220-287 pounds while their female counterparts may weigh between 198-242 pounds.
A healthy weight is crucial for the ostriches as it helps them maintain their quick speed, have successful reproduction, and even escape their predators.
You may also like reading: Can a Swan Break your Leg? Separating Fact from Feathered Fiction
Here Are 7 Factors That Determine the weight of An Ostrich
Photo Courtesy of Photos.com
Understanding the several factors that determines the weight of an ostrich is important. It gives you an insight of why the weight of ostriches may vary. These factors include:
As previously stated, male ostriches are often more heavy weight compared to female ostriches. Roosters are also taller than female ostriches. Thus, whereas males may be 2.4-2.7meters tall, the female ostriches may have an average height of between 1.8-2.1 meters. Regarding weight, generally; male ostriches may have a weight ranging from 220-287 pounds while their female counterparts may weigh between 198-242 pounds.
Don’t be surprised. Yes! this weight difference is common in numerous bird species. Usually, males may avian species might depict larger physical appearance due to several reasons. It might be due to the stiff competition for territorial defense or for mates.
Similar to other animals, ostriches under a growth cycle. K.W. McMillin and L.C. Hoffman claim that ostriches experience a sigmoid growth cycle. The researchers suggest that an ostrich would have attained 100 kilograms. As they grow older, ostriches gradually gain more weight.
Diet is yet another significant factor that affects the weight of an ostrich during growth. Ostriches are omnivore birds, but the most fascinating thing is that, their primary diet contains plant matter like leaves, seeds, and grass.
Kh.M. Mahrose and his fellow researchers conducted a study to evaluate whether dietary supplementation of proteins to a diet of chick ostriches would impact their weight. Results displayed that dietary supplementation of proteins to chick ostriches resulted to gain in their weight.
The surroundings in which an ostrich live has a significant impact on their body weight. Ostriches living in densely forested environments, especially grasslands and savannahs, have a greater likelihood to be healthy owing to the abundance of good food supplies. Conversely, ostriches living in areas with minimal flora could find it difficult with acquiring adequate food, perhaps resulting in a decrease in weight.
Health is an overall factor when it comes to weight of ostriches. Poor health may occur due to malnutrition, parasites, or diseases. This hugely affect the overall weight of an ostrich.
Domestic ostriches, particularly those maintained on ostrich ranches, might have distinct weight trends than those in the wild. Disparities in weight and size among domesticated ostriches may arise as a result of selective breeding environments. Farms may concentrate on certain features or attributes, influencing overall weight distribution. This selective mating can result in the rearing of ostrich species with certain traits that cater to consumer demands, for instance feathers, leather, or meat.
Weight variations in ostriches may occur over the year due to seasonal shifts in food supply and external factors. Ostriches may acquire weight amid seasons of abundance food, storing energy for poorer times.
In times of shortage, they may lose bodyweight as they use stored fat as sources of energy. These variations are a normal element of their adaptive mechanism to thriving in uncertain surroundings.
Ostrich Weight and The Popular Culture
Ostriches’ unique appearance and impressive size have made them to become more fascinating and known in popular culture. Ostriches have made numerous appearances in television on both movies and cartoon.
And are you aware of the most persistent myth about them hiding their heads inside the sand once they get frightened? Hah! Just forget about that. The myth is not even near from truth.
But its true to say that when an ostrich wants to hide from their predators, they drop their heads towards the ground while at a distance. This makes them look as if they’ve buried their heads.
is ostrich racing familiar to you? or have you heard of it? If you’re from south Africa or United States, I bet you’ve seen this take place at most ostrich farms. The uncommon sport has gained much popularity in most cultures as of today.
In the race, participants normally ride the ostriches while sited on their backs to demonstrate the animal’s remarkable speed. Well, although it may appear to be a fun activity, it is critical that one think about the welfare of such creatures involved in the race.
Read also: Is Swan A Flightless Bird?
As we look at their world, it’s also important to evaluate their current state of conservation. But why?
Well, you might be surprised to know that even The International Union for Conservation of Nature has ostriches listed on the “red list”. Yes! Poaching had increased to alarming levels and this has put ostriches at the edge of becoming extinct.
Ostrich populations can be affected by habitat destruction as a result of human activities like poaching for their meat, eggs, and feathers. Thus, conservation authorities and boards must focus to regulate poaching and protect natural habitats for the survival of these animals of “Least concern.”
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How much does an ostrich weigh in kilograms?
Male ostriches are heavier than female ostriches. Where as males may weight between 100-130 kilograms, female ostriches may weigh between 90-120 kilograms.
How much does an ostrich egg weigh?
1.35 kilograms. Well, that’s approximately 3 pounds. The world’s heaviest ostrich egg is normally about 6 inches in length and 5 inches in width.
Do male ostriches heavier than female?
Definitely. In most cases, you will find male ostriches being larger and heavier than female ostriches.
At wht point in their lives do ostriches gain more weight?
During their first year. At this point, they are able to gain between 25 and 25 kilograms.
In summary, ostriches are considered to be the largest birds existing on earth, with most of them averagely weighing between 220-330 pounds. We’ve learned how much an ostrich’s weight may vary due to many factors, including breeding conditions, seasonal variations, habitat, health, diet, sex, and age. Comprehending these factors is important as they give you significant insights into how much an ostrich may weigh.
However, beyond their remarkable weight and peculiar characteristics, ostriches also play an important role in the world surrounding and even shaping the very environment in which they live. Their contributions, like input in prey-predator relationships, seed dispersal, and impact on biodiversity, are vital.
One last thing! Despite their captivating and remarkable characteristics, their existence is at stake here. Therefore, taking responsibility for measures that will ensure the remaining species don’t become extinct is our biggest challenge.
Thus, as we appreciate such beautiful birds, we ought equally to recognize the difficulties they confront. Habitat destruction, poaching, and competition for resources with other animals are all major challenges threatening wild ostrich species. Efforts to conserve these feathery giant birds are critical not just for their existence but additionally for the sustainability of the habitats in which they live.
As we consider the serious issues surrounding ostriches, for example, their economic potential, cultural value, and ever-changing scales, you must keep in mind that these giant creatures are not only charismatic birds but also custodians of biodiversity. The fact that they exist in our environment attests to the interconnected and complex web of existence that nourishes us all.
Wrapping up, ostriches are more than African savannah residents; they are dwelling emblems of the fragile relationship between human civilization and safeguarding nature’s beauties. We are confident that these gigantic, brave, and gorgeous savannah protectors will continue to adorn our world for decades.