Ostriches originate from Africa, but they have spread all over the world,
and can now be found from California to China. They are farmed not only for their meat, but
also for leather from their skins.
Ostriches are the fastest two-legged animal on the planet, capable of
over 40 mph. Also stamina is not a problem, they could probably cover
25 miles in one hour. Unfortunately, or fortunately - it depends on
how you look at it - ostriches are a flightless bird.
Do ostrich feathers make good dusters? True, you bet; ostrich feathers are highly prized
for removing cobwebs.
Ostrich meat is a matter of personal taste. No it does not taste of chicken! Actually it's quite a strong taste a cross between beef and venison. The big advantage is that being
undomesticated, ostrich meat is low in cholesterol.
Do ostriches really bury their heads in the sand when danger approaches? It's a myth. Firstly it would have no value as a survival strategy. Secondly, ostriches have vicious
beaks, and they can also deliver a nasty kick with those long powerful legs.
The English language is very rich and descriptive. A person 'hiding their
head in the sand, like an ostrich' is said to be foolishly ignoring their
problem, while hoping it will somehow vanish. This idea was made into a joke in
'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', by Douglas Adams in which the 'Ravenous
Bugblatter Beast of Traal' was described as 'so mind-bogglingly stupid that it
assumes that if you can't see it, then it can't see you.'
The ostrich egg is the biggest egg currently on the planet, large examples
may reach 20cm at their widest part. Only dinosaur eggs have been larger.
It's not uncommon for ostriches to lay 10 eggs, and at about 3lb (1.5 kilos)
that's quite an investment.