Ostrich Facts
Ostrich Facts

24 Incredible Ostrich Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published March 13, 2023
  • Ostriches are the largest and heaviest living birds.[3]
  • The scientific name for ostrich, Struthio camelus, reflects that they were once known as the "camel bird." Like camels, they have long necks, large eyelashes, and a jolting walk, and they can tolerate high temperatures and little water for long periods of time.[3]
  • Ostriches can sprint up to 43 mph (73 kmh), and they can run at a steady pace at 31 mph (50 kmh).[3]
  • The ostrich egg is the largest single cell found on Earth. Only dinosaurs laid larger eggs.[3]
  • One ostrich egg is roughly equal to 24 chicken eggs.[3]
  • Ostrich Feet Fact
    While most birds have four toes, ostriches only have two
  • Ostriches are the only birds that have two toes. Most other birds have four toes or more.[3]
  • Ostriches do not put their head in the sand. If they sense danger and can't run away or attack, they will lie very still on the ground.[3]
  • Ostriches are the fastest birds on land.[3]
  • Ostriches are native to Africa and are found in the savanna and desert regions. They are omnivores and eat what is available.[5]
  • An ostrich's intestines are 46 feet (14 meters) long.[5]
  • The ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians raised, groomed, and traded ostriches for feathers. Ostrich plumes have long been an accessory for royalty and the wealthy. They finally fell out of fashion with the invention of the car because there was no headspace for feathers.[3]
  • Newly hatched ostrich chicks are about the size of an adult chicken, but they grow at a rate of about 1 foot (30 cm) per month. By six months old, ostrich chicks are about as large as an adult.[5]
  • Ostrich chicks can run at 35 mph (56 kph) when they are just a month old.[3]
  • Ostrich Chick Facts
    Ostrich chicks are about the size of a chicken when they are born

  • After failed attempts to farm ostriches in Australia, the birds were released. They still roam the outback, though their population is small and dwindling.[1]
  • Ostriches usually avoid humans in the wild, but if threatened, they can attack. They are capable of disemboweling or killing a person with a single blow.[6]
  • Ostriches can cover over 10 feet in a single stride.[4]
  • Ostrich nests are communal. Several ostriches lay their eggs in the same nest. One male and female pair takes turns sitting on the eggs. One nest could contain as many 60 eggs.[4]
  • In the 18th century, ostriches were nearly extinct because their feathers were used in women's fashion. Today, they are classified as a species of least concern, though their numbers are declining again.[2]
  • Ostrich Feather Facts
    Ostriches are farmed for their feathers, meat, skin, fat, and eggs
  • Ostriches lack the special oil that waterproofs other birds' feathers, which gives them that "shaggy" look, especially in the rain.[3]
  • Adult ostriches weigh between 250 and 300 pounds, and they can be up to 9 feet tall.[4]
  • One ostrich egg contains about 2,000 calories.[4]
  • Ostriches don't have teeth; they swallow sand and pebbles to help break down food in their gizzard.[4]
  • In captivity, ostriches can live up to 70 years. In the wild, they usually live about 30–40 years.[4]
  • Ostrich eyes are about the size of a billiard ball, and they blink about once a minute.[4]
  • Outstanding Ostrich Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Ostrich Infographics

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