Friday, 15 February 2013

Emu - Australian National Bird

The emu is the largest bird native to Australia and the only extant member of the genus Dromaius. It is the second-largest extant bird in the world by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich. There are three subspecies of emus in Australia. The emu is common over most of mainland Australia, although it avoids heavily populated areas, dense forest, and arid areas. The Emu was designated in 1960 by the Australian government to be their national bird, although some sources say this is not official. Either way, the Emu is a perfect choice as it is a native endemic species and important to the country ecologically and as a resource.

Interesting and Amazing facts about Emu:

  1. Emus are curious and docile. They are about 10 inches tall at birth, with black and white stripes. As 3-month-old chicks, they turn nearly solid black, changing into a tan, brown, and black mixture as adults, some with a bluish neck.
  2. The mature emu is 5 to 6 feet tall and normally weighs 90 to 120 pounds. They are flightless and strong runners, reaching ground speeds of up to 40 miles per hour in short bursts and covering about nine feet in stride.
  3. They live in most of the less-populated areas of the continent and although they can survive in most regions, they avoid dense forest and severe desert. The Emu is on the Coat of Arms of Australia
  4. Emus adapt well to temperature extremes from in excess of 100 degrees to below zero. No diseases have yet been diagnosed as common to the species. 
  5. They can exist on a simple diet and require much water, drinking 2 to 4 gallons daily. They also will play in water or mud.
  6. The Emu hen can be productive for 25 to 35 years or more and may lay 20 to 50 eggs in a season.
  7. Pairs normally breed from October to April, usually producing one egg every three days.
  8. Incubation time is 48 - 52 days and the percentage of eggs hatched is approximately 70 - 80%. Chick survival rates are excellent. Emus are very hardy.
  9. The color of the eggs range from a medium green to a dark green (almost black) with some having a very smooth glasslike texture.
  10. An average egg weigh between 600 and 700 grams when laid.
  11. The eggs are edible consisting of approximately 10 chicken eggs. The egg is mostly yolk but has a much milder flavor than other poultry. It is excellent when used in cooking.
  12. Unfertile eggs are blown for crafters. Engraving is possible as the outer layer of shell is green, the next layer is a light blue and the inside layer is white. 
  13. Eggs can also be used in an art form known as filigree. This is where a pattern is cut entirely thru the shell. Makes a nice nightlight.
  14. These eggs can be used to make jewelry boxes, can be painted or even have decals applied.
  15. The oil is rendered from the fat of the emu, collected mainly from the back and the rump. Each emu can yield an average of 5 to 6 liters of deep-penetrating natural oil. 
  16. This complex, primitive oil properly rendered is non-toxic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory. It is an excellent moisturizer and emollient, soothing and softening the skin. 
For more detail on Emu click here 

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