The Emu is the largest bird native to Australia and is also the second-largest bird in the world by height, after its relative, the ostrich. The Emu is common over most of mainland Australia, although it avoids heavily populated areas, dense forest, and arid areas. Fossilized records have shown that the emu has survived 80 million years in Australia.
The soft-feathered, brown, flightless bird reach up to 6.6 ft in height, and can weigh up to 150 lbs. They have long thin necks and legs. Emus can travel great distances at a fast, economical trot and, if necessary, can sprint at 31 mph for some distance at a time. Their long legs allow them to take strides of up to 9 ft. They are opportunistically nomadic and may travel long distances to find food; they feed on a variety of plants and insects, but have been known to go weeks without food. They also ingest stones help squash food in the digestive system. They drink infrequently, often once every day or two. Emus will sit in water and are also able to swim. They are curious and nosy animals who are known to follow and watch other animals and humans. Emus do not sleep continuously at night but in several short stints sitting down.
Emus have a nail on their toes, akin to a knife, which is used in kicking away predators and opponent Emus. Their legs are among the strongest of any animals, allowing them to rip metal wire fences. They are endowed with excellent eyesight and hearing, just like our wild turkeys, which allows them to detect predators in the vicinity. Males and females are hard to distinguish visually, but can be differentiated by the types of loud sounds they emit by manipulating an inflatable neck sac. Emus breed in May and June, and male do most of the incubation.
Mate, If you luv Turkey huntin', you would love this mazin' skittish critter with eyesight as sharp as a burnt stick from "down-under"! He will present you with a fair-dinkum challenge, and lots of low fat gourmet meat for the bar-bee!