Friday, April 24, 2009

The Elegant Ostrich

The Ostrich (Struthio camelus) is a flightless bird native to Africa. It is the only living species of its family, Struthionidae, and its genus, Struthio. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at speeds of about 65 km/h (40 mph), the top landspeed of any bird.

Ostriches are the largest living species of bird and are farmed in many areas all over the world. The scientific name for the Ostrich is from the Greek for "camel sparrow" in allusion to its long neck.Ostriches are large enough for a small human to ride them, typically while holding on to the wings for grip, and in some areas of northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula Ostriches are trained as racing mounts. There is little possibility of the practice becoming more widespread, due to the irascible temperament and the difficulties encountered in saddling the birds. Ostrich races in the United States have been criticized by animal rights organizations; however, they continue to take place in the streets of Miami Beach.

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