All about our very curious emus…
The emu is the largest bird in Australia, and the second largest in the world after the ostrich. Emus have long necks, sharp beaks. They have two sets of eyelids, one for blinking and one to keep out the dust. Their feet are long, with three toes. One toe on each foot has a long talon, for fighting. Emus can grow to between 5 to 6.5 feet in height and weigh up to 130 pounds. Emus have tiny wings hidden under their feathers. They hold them out as stabilizers when they run.
The emu belongs to a family of flightless birds called Ratites. Most Ratites are now extinct, and only the emu, ostrich, cassowary, kiwi and rhea are alive today. In the wild, emus pair in summer and breed in the cooler months. The male builds a rough nest from bark, grass, sticks and leaves, in a hollow on the ground. Every second or third day, the female lays a very large, thick-shelled, dark green egg, weighing about 1 pound. The male sits on the clutch of eggs to incubate them for eight weeks, He stands up only to turn the eggs, about 10 times a day. Emu chicks are active as soon as they hatch. They stand about 10 inches (25 cm) tall, and have fluffy feathers with brown and cream stripes for camouflage. Chicks grow very quickly, up to 2 pounds a week, and are full-grown in 12 to 14 months.
Emus are very docile and curious, and are easily tamed in captivity. Like all Ratites, they are extremely fast, and can travel great distances at a fast trot. If need be, they can sprint at 30 miles per hour. Emus love to play in the water--they will sometimes roll on their backs and kick their legs in the air. (Source: www.planetozkids.com/oban/animals/facts-emu)