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Emu
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The Emu is a large, flightless bird from Australia. It is the second-biggest bird in Australia and the third-biggest bird in the world (only the ostrich and cassowary are bigger). The emu is also very fast; it can run up to 30 mph (50 kph). Emus also swim very well.

This huge bird lives in flocks (groups) in grasslands, savannas (grasslands with some trees), and the Australian bush. The emu's life span is 10-20 years. The genus and species of the emu are Dromaius novaehollandiae.

Anatomy: Emus grow to be about 6 feet (185 cm) tall and weigh about 110 pounds (50 kg). This is bigger than many adult humans.

Reproduction: The emu's nest is a shallow hole by a bush; it is lined with leaves, grass, and bark. The female lays from 4 to 20 greenish-brown eggs in a clutch (a group of eggs laid at one time). Chicks (baby emus) hatch after an incubation period of about 8 weeks. The male incubates (keeps warm) the eggs and cares for the chicks for about 1 1/2 years.

Diet: Emus are primarily herbivores (plant-eaters). They eat grass, seeds, flowers, young plants, and fruit. They also eat some insects (including caterpillars). They swallow small stones (called gastroliths or gizzard stones) which stay in the gizzard and help grind up food.



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