Ratite of Australia. After the ostrich, the emu is the second-largest living bird. They stand more than 5 ft (1.5 m) tall and often weigh more than 100 lbs (45 kg). The common emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae, family Dromaiidae), the only survivor of several forms exterminated by settlers, has a stout body and long legs. Both sexes are brownish, with a dark-gray head and neck. Emus can run up to 30 mph (50 kph); if cornered, they kick with their large feet. They mate for life and forage in small flocks for fruits and insects but sometimes damage crops. See also cassowary.
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)—V. ServentyBruce Coleman Inc.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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