Ostrich

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ostrich : a swift-footed 2-toed flightless ratite bird (Struthio camelus) of Africa that is the largest of existing birds and often weighs 300 pounds (140 kilograms) — Webster

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Ostriches are a family, Struthionidae, of flightless birds. Ostriches first appeared during the Miocene epoch, though various Paleocene, Eocene and Oligocene fossils may also belong to the family. Ostriches are classified in the ratite group of birds, all extant species of which are flightless, including the kiwis, emus, and rheas. Traditionally the order Struthioniformes contained all the ratites. However, recent genetic analysis has found that the group is not monophyletic, as it is paraphyletic with respect to the tinamous, so the ostriches are classified as the only members of the order. There are two extant species of ostrich, the common ostrich and Somali ostrich, both in the genus Struthio, which also contains several species known from Holocene fossils such as the Asian ostrich. The common ostrich is the largest living bird species, and other ostriches are among the largest bird species ever. — Wikipedia

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Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Study explores genetics behind evolution of...
    on May 7, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Since Darwin's era, scientists have wondered how flightless birds like emus, ostriches, kiwis, cassowaries, and others are related, and for decades the assumption was that they must all share a common ancestor who abandoned the skies for a more grounded life. […]

  • Running may have made dinosaurs' wings flap...
    on May 2, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Before they evolved the ability to fly, two-legged dinosaurs may have begun to flap their wings as a passive effect of running along the ground, according to new research by Jing-Shan Zhao of Tsinghua University, Beijing, and his colleagues. […]

  • The best place for a bird's voice box is low in...
    on April 10, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    All air-breathing vertebrates have a larynx—a structure of muscles and folds that protects the trachea and, in many animals, vibrates and modulates to produce a stunning array of sounds. […]

  • Last of the giants: What killed off Madagascar's...
    on April 1, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Giant 10-foot-tall elephant birds, with eggs eight times larger than an ostrich's. Sloth lemurs bigger than a panda, weighing in at 350 pounds. A puma-like predator called the giant fosa. […]

  • How bird feather patterns form
    on February 21, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Feathers evolved in dinosaurs and are a key characteristic of birds today. They are arranged in a precise hexagonal pattern in a bird's skin, but it has been unclear how this happens. According to a new study published February 21 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, led by Dr. William Ho and Denis Headon of the University of Edinburgh, and collaborative colleagues, the patterning of bird feathers relies on signaling through ectodysplasin (EDA) and its receptor EDAR—the same signaling […]