The Cassowary Bird

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  • Topic: Cassowary, Casuariidae, New Guinea
  • Pages : 3 (1057 words )
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  • Published : February 4, 2006
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The Cassowary Bird

A cassowary is the name for a large, flightless, and strange looking bird that lives in the tropical forests of Australia and New Guinea. Cassowaries come from the ratite group, and there are three species: Southern Cassowary/Double-wattled cassowary of Australia and New Guinea, Dwarf Cassowary of New Guinea and New Britain, and the Northern Cassowary of New Guinea. The genus and species of the cassowary is Casuarius casuarius. The order the cassowary is from is the Struthioniformes order.

The Southern Cassowary is known to be the second-largest bird in Austrailia and the second largest bird in the world coming second from the ostrich. Adult cassowaries have been known to grow to a height of 6 feet, and weigh as much as 130 pounds. These birds have coarse black feathers. The only part of the cassowary that is not covered in feathers is the skin on the head and the throat. The throat of a cassowary is a beautiful vibrant red and blue. The feathers of a cassowary are an adaptation to the thick vegetation of their habitat. One of the cassowary's distinguishing features is the casque they have on their heads which is a horny crest, making them the only armored bird in the world. The casque has been known to allow the cassowary to push through dense tropical forest vegetation, but it also provides as a protection for the cassowary. Some have observed cassowaries to use their casques as shovels to search for food in the ground. It is also believed that the size of a cassowary's casque may indicate their age and dominance since the casque grows throughout the life of a cassowary. Two out of the three cassowary species have red wattles, which are two brightly colored folds of skin that hang from their neck, and may act as social signals in the dark forest. These birds also have very powerful legs and feet that allow them to run up to 30 miles and hour and jump up to 5 feet. The feet of the cassowaries have sharp claws and the inner middle toe is...
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