Emu, a large flightless bird of Australia. It is a ratite (one of a group of flightless birds, which includes the ostrich, cassowary, and kiwi). The emu is second in size only to the ostrich. It is about five feet (1.5 m) tall and weighs up to 120 pounds (54 kg). The emu is covered with coarse, drooping, brownish-black feathers on the back and light brown feathers on the legs. The neck is bare and is light blue. Emus can run up to 30 mph (48 km/h) and are good swimmers. They feed on vegetation, fruit, and insects. Males communicate with low guttural noises; females with loud booming calls. The female lays 7 to 12 dark green eggs with grainy shells in a ground nest of leaves and grass. The male incubates the eggs and cares for the chicks. The chicks are pale gray with light yellow stripes down the neck and back.

Emus gather in large flocks, often destroying crops and rangeland. During the 1930's, they were considered pests and were hunted extensively. Emus are protected by law and the population is stable.

EmusEmus are large flightless birds native to Australia.
What Big Bird Has Very Tiny Wings?

The emu has feathers that look like shaggy fur. It the second-largest flightless bird. However, its wings are only about 7 inches (18 centimeters) long. That’s shorter than a crow’s wings. An emu’s wings are so small that the bird’s thick coat of feathers covers them over.

Emus are found only in Australia. There, they travel in pairs or small groups on the grassy plains. They eat fruit, seeds, and bugs. As they search for food, they sometimes anger farmers by eating crops.

Like the ostrich, the emu is a speedy animal. An emu can run nearly 30 miles (50 kilometers) per hour, taking 9-foot (2.7-meter) strides. This can help an emu escape danger.

The common emu is Dromaius novaehollandiae of the emu family, Dromaiidae.