If this bird looks big, it’s because it is. According to the San Diego Zoo, the emu is the second-largest living bird in the world, beat only by the ostrich. The average adult emu stands between 4’10” and 6’2” and weighs between 66 and 121 pounds. Interestingly, adult female emus are larger and heavier than the adult males. At hatch, emus are about nine to 10 inches tall.
The emu belongs to a group of flightless, running birds known as ratites. Though their wings be but small, their legs be but mighty. Emus can travel long distances at a fast trot and can sprint 30 mph for a good distance. Due to their strong legs – Emus are the only birds with calf muscles – they can also jump seven feet straight into the air.
Emus are not picky eaters. They eat a variety of plants, insects and small animals like lizards. The seeds they eat whole also come out whole, making the emu a natural fertilizer.