The cassowary is a territorial flightless bird that is capable of severely injuring or even killing people by disemboweling. Typically, these birds will only attack if they feel threatened. But they are very moody. There are three species of cassowary that can be found in New Guinea and northeastern parts of Australia. Cassowary lives in wet tropical rainforests, lowland, and highland dense forests. Because they live in deep forests, they are rarely seen in the wild.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Casuarius
Weight: Up to 100 lbs
Height: Up to 5.6 feet
Lifespan: Up to 19 years (in the wild) | Up to 50 years (in captivity)
Now on to the Facts!
1.) The color of their head and neck can change depending on their mood.
2.) Their casque (bony ridge on the top of their head) is used for self-defense. It prevents skull injuries during fighting.
3.) Cassowaries are omnivores (eat both plant and animal matter). It usually eats a variety of seeds, fruits, shoots, fungi, small invertebrates, and insects.
4.) A cassowary can swim very well and for long distances!
5.) Seed dispersal is common among cassowaries. They eat fruit and then leave the seeds behind in their feces. This helps to spread populations of plants.
But wait, there’s more on the cassowary!
6.) They have excellent hearing and vision.
7.) Males build nests for the females who lay between 3 and 8 eggs. Also, the eggs are greenish-blue in color and are sometimes deposited in multiple nests.
Did you know…?
They can run 31 miles per hour as well as jump up to 5 feet in the air!
8.) The inner or second of the three toes is fitted with a long, straight, murderous nail which can sever an arm or eviscerate an abdomen with ease. There are many records of natives being killed by this bird.
9.) The call of a cassowary can be heard up to 2 miles away!