The name “cassowary” comes from the Papuan word “kasu-weri,” which means “horn head.”
They’re one of the largest birds in the world. They measure up to 50-60 inches in length, and can weigh up to 130 lbs. The horn-like casque on their heads can be as high as 6 inches. This casque is thought to help them when running through dense brush. Their top speed is around 30 mph. It is the second largest bird in Australia, the largest is the Emu.
They can be found in New Guinea and parts of north-eastern Australia. They eat mostly grasses, shoots, fungi and insects.
Cassowaries lay eggs around May and June. The average clutch size is 5 eggs, but some have laid up to 8. The eggs are pale green, and the nest is made on the ground from leaves. After the female lays the eggs, the male sits on them and protects them from predators. It takes up to 50 days for the eggs to hatch.
Due to habitat loss, all three cassowary species are at risk in the wild and are classified as vulnerable animals.
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