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The Cassowary is a large, flightless bird from Australia and New Guinea. It is the biggest bird in Australia and the second-biggest bird in the world (only the ostrich is bigger). The genus and species of the Australian cassowary are Casuarius casuarius. The cassowary's life span is about 40-50 years.

This huge bird lives in rainforests and swampy forests. They are endangered due to loss of habitat.

Anatomy: Cassowaries grow to be about 6.5 feet (2 m) tall and weigh about 130 pounds (60 kg). The largest-known cassowary was 180 pounds (83 kg). This is bigger than most adult humans. The females are bigger and more brightly colored. Cassowaries have powerful legs and a helmet-like crest on the head. They protect themselves by kicking. Their three-toed feet have sharp claws; the dagger-like middle claw is 5 inches (12 cm) long. Cassowaries can run up to 32 mph (50 km/hr) and jump up to 5 feet (1.5 m). Two of the three cassowary species have red, fleshy wattles (loose skin hanging from the neck).

Eggs and Chicks: Females lay 3-8 large, pale green-blue eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). These eggs measure about 3.5 by 5.5 inches. Only ostrich and emu eggs are bigger. The male incubates (keeps warm) the eggs for 2 months, then cares for the brown-striped chicks for 9 months. The female does not care for the eggs or the chicks.

Diet: The cassowary is a frugivorous bird (it mostly eats fruit). Fallen fruit and fruit on low branches is the mainstay of its diet. It also eats fungi, insects, frogs, snakes and other small animals.

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