November 14, 2016 in Animals & Insects
The Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) is not quite a dinosaur but it’s very likely the closest thing to one that you will ever see. Well, I suppose that you could consider it a dinosaur, but if so then it would be a dinosaur that’s quite distinct from the ones that linger in pop culture (or were in a way invented by it).
As the pictures show, the Southern Cassowary, also known as the Australian Cassowary, is quite a large bird — growing to be more than 6 feet tall (to at least 75 inches or 190 cm), and to weigh between 37 and 154 lbs (17 and 70 kilograms). Maximum weight is estimated to be 187 lbs (85 kilograms). Some females have been known to grow to as tall as 6’7 feet (2 meters). Females are notably larger than males, and possess a larger bill and casque (the crest looking thing on their heads).
A very notable behavior of the species is that it’s the male that raises the offspring, and incubates the eggs, rather than the females. The females are apparently not involved at all in the chick rearing after they drop off the eggs and head off to do the same elsewhere (female territories overlap those of several males).
Other notable qualities include: the ability to make extremely deep sounds (the lowest frequency bird-call known, and at the very lower limit of human hearing); the ability to run up to 31 mph (50 km/h) and to jump up to 5 feet (1.5 meters); and also the fact that they are very good swimmers, capable of crossing large rivers and also of swimming I the ocean.
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