With their acute eyesight and hearing, they can sense predators such as lions from far away. In popular mythology, the ostrich is famous for hiding its head in the sand at the first sign of danger. The Roman writer, Pliny the Elder is noted for his descriptions of the ostrich in his historia naturalis, where he describes the ostrich and the fact that it hides its head in a bush. There have been no recorded observations of this behaviour. The myth may have resulted from the fact that, from a distance, when ostriches feed they appear to be burying their head in the sand because they deliberately swallow sand/pebbles to help grind up their food. When lying down and hiding from predators, the birds are known to lay their head and neck flat on the ground. When threatened, ostriches run away, but they can also seriously injure with kicks from their powerful legs.














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Ostriches become sexually mature when 2–4 years old. The mating process differs in different geographical regions. Territorial males will typically use hisses and other sounds to fight for a harem of 2–5 females. It will form a pair with one dominant female and breed with all of them. The female cowers on the ground and is mounted from behind by the male. The females will lay their fertilized eggs in a single communal nest, a simple pit scraped in the ground and about 30–60 cm deep. Ostrich eggs can weigh 1.3 kg and are the largest of all eggs, though they are actually the smallest relative to the size of the bird.

Images: 001-003.jpg courtesy Us Fish and Wildlife Service
004-009.jpg courtesy Schmode.net



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