Skip to main content

Rhea

When people think of flightless birds, they think Ostrich, Emu, maybe even Kiwi. But what about the Rhea? There are two species of Rhea, both native to the grasslands of South America. Like the aforementioned birds, Rheas are ratites; birds that lack an anchor for their wing muscles, and thus cannot fly. Rheas still have large (for a Ratite) wings, but they are used for balance while running.

Image Source
The largest of the Rheas, the Common or American Rhea (Rhea americana), cant grow to heights of 5 feet, while the Lesser or Darwin's Rhea (Rhea pennata) grows to only 3 or 4. They are omnivores, and will consume fruits, seeds, lizards, insects, and even carrion. Rheas are solitary through the breeding season, but will form flocks during the winter. These flocks sometimes intermingle with those of other species.

Interestingly, it is the male Rheas that do most of the egg-guarding and chick-rearing. What is even more interesting is that Rheas are polygamous, and the males take more than one mate. All of his breeding partners will lay their eggs in the same place to be watched over by the male. A Rhea egg can weight 1.5lbs.

Like Ostrich, Rhea meat can be eaten, and the industry is regulated by the USDA which considers it to be "red" meat. Rhea feathers and skins are also used for various purposes, including clothing and decoration.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Greater Kudu

Tragelaphus strepsiceros The Greater Kudu is one of the largest Antelope species out there, which the largest males standing over 5ft tall at the shoulder and weighing over 600lbs. They sport horns that equally as impressive in size-- the record is 72in. You'll find the Greater Kudus in southern and eastern Africa, where they inhabit scrub woodlands. Their brown coloration and white stripes allow them to remain camouflaged within these woody surroundings. The Kudus are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend the daytime hours hidden in these forested areas. However, their stripes are not their only defensive mechanism; they also sport very large ears that allow them to hear approaching danger. When alerted, the Antelope can try and bound away to safety. Female Greater Kudus tend to live in moderately sized groups with other females and offspring. Most mature males are solitary, and will only join up with these herds during the breeding period that corresponds with the end

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!