The Ostrich: Not Just A Big Dumb Bird
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âGavest thou . . . wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding. What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.â
In the final chapters of Job, God seeks to increase Jobâs spiritual understanding by using an extended object lesson. The Lord points to the physical world and asks Job if he has the power to create like that or if he even understands how it works. Generally, God asks Job to consider demonstrations of His vast power. But according to some Bible scholars, in Job 39 the Lord singles out one creature that seems to contradict His pattern.
Ostrich feathers and speed
The male ostrich stands over five feet tall at the shoulder and holds its head up to eight feet high. At 300 pounds, it is the largest known living bird. It has a black body with white wing and tail feathers. Females are smaller and drab in color. An ostrich head is about the size of an orange, its brain the size of a walnut. It has two-inch eyeballs, the largest of any living land dwelling animal. Its keen sight and height are useful in spotting predators on its native African plains.
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How Do Ostrichs Big Eyes Benefit The Animal
Their exceptionally huge eyes offer them a big advantage. Bigger eyes mean better vision. An excellent vision allows ostriches to adapt and thrive in their natural habitats. With their big eyes with enhanced vision combined with long necks and legs, these birds are able to spot predators and food from a long distance.
When confronted by common predators such as lions, cheetahs, and hyenas, ostriches try to outrun the enemies and can sprint as fast as 70km/h and hold steady speeds of approximately 50km/h.
When fleeing is not an option, these birds use their powerful legs and feet to kick their predators hard. Each one of its feet has 4-inches claws that can cause serious harm to predators as big as lions, hyenas, and cheetahs.
Despite its powerful eyesight and tremendous speed, the ostrich isnt always very successful when it comes to eluding predators. Instead of running straight, it tends to run in circles, which increases its chances of getting caught. This probably has something to do with its small brain that prevents critical thinking.
Contrary to the popular belief, ostriches dont actually bury their heads in the sand when faced with danger. The head in the sand myth started with Pliny the Elder, a Roman encyclopedist and philosopher who wrote that ostriches being so incredibly stupid
There are also a few other explanations for this behavior.
Ostrich Eggs Largest Eggs In The World
Ostriches are known to lay their eggs in a communal pit, with the dominant female laying her eggs first and others following her. After laying her eggs, the dominant female rejects the eggs of some of the weaker members at the time of covering the pit. Even though 2-7 females lay their eggs in a single communal pit, each female can identify her own eggs.
The female ostriches incubate the eggs during the daytime, while the male ostriches do the same at night. The practice comes handy for this species when defending themselves and their nests from predators. While the greyish-brown females blend with the sand during the day, males with their black feathers become virtually invisible in the darkness of the night.
In course of the incubation period, which roughly lasts for around 35-45 days, the nests are raided by various predators. On an average, only around 10 percent of the nests survive, but the threat of predators continues even after the eggs have hatched. If the ostrich can elude its predators till its adulthood, it can leave for a period of 40-45 years considerably long for a bird.
An ostrich egg measures approximately 6 inches in length and 15-18 inches in circumference. On an average, its weight is close to 3.1 lbs . The color ranges from pearl white to cream. With a thickness of 0.06 inches, the ostrich egg is quite strong as well. Though it is the smallest when we go by the ratio of the weight of egg to the weight of the bird.
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Get Acquainted With Ostriches
Which Animal Is Never Sleep
Bullfrogs are thought to be animals that can survive without sleeping for months at a time. While they shut their eyes and go on to rest, they remain alert during these periods. According to research even while resting these huge amphibians were awake enough to respond to painful stimuli and show respiratory changes.
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How Do Starfish Reproduce Asexually
Asexual reproduction in starfish takes place by fission or through autotomy of arms. In fission, the central disc breaks into two pieces and each portion then regenerates the missing parts. Although almost all sea stars can regenerate their limbs, only a select few sea star species are able to reproduce in these ways.
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Do Ostriches Have Brains
The ostrichs eyes are about the size of billiard balls. They take up so much room in the skull that the ostrichs brain is actually smaller than either one of its eyeballs. This may be why the ostrich, despite its tremendous running speed, is not very good at eluding predators: It tends to run in circles.
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How Is The Brain Size Of A Fish Measured
Their brain size is measured in comparison to body size and weight. Some fish do break this rule. The most notable two are the shark and mormyrid. The mormyrid is any of several species of slimy, freshwater African fishes. They are soft-rayed, bony fish with a small mouth and eyes, forked tail fins, and abdominal pelvic fins. Both of these, when compared to their body weight, have massive brains.
Ostriches Have Three Stomachs
Ostriches really have a lot of peculiarities compare to other birds. They have three stomachs that have different functions: the glandular stomach, which takes the role of the gall bladder the muscular stomach or the ventriculus where stones and pebbles and other food are grinds then food is passed into their long intestines. Ostriches secrete urine from feces separately.
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Are There Any Benefits To The Ostrich Having A Smaller Brain
According to anew study comparing about 2062 bird species, in highly variable environments, birds tend to have either large or small brains relative to their body size.
According to the study, big brains in animals can help them quickly adapt to unexpected environmental changes. However, some birds like ostriches just dont need them. Their small brains allow them to utilize ecological strategies that are not available to other big-brained animals. Generally, instead of solely relying on their brains to survive, small-brained animals like ostriches tend to have bigger bodies, consume readily available food, and produce a large number of offspring . Their high reproductive rates allow them to quickly recover from high mortality rates due to their challenging conditions.
Another advantage is that a small brain demands less energy compared to a big brain. Because ostriches tend to consume a high fibrous diet that requires a large gut to digest, a lot of their energy is diverted to the gut. Given that brains are as energy-demanding as guts, having a smaller brain actually benefits the ostrich as its able to easily maintain the required energy levels to both organs.
Brain Evolution And Birds
Because the brain is such a costly organ to develop and maintain, biologists have long been interested in understanding how large brain sizein all speciescould have evolved.
One hypothesis is based around the idea that one of the main advantages of possessing a big brain is that it allows for a high degree of behavioral flexibility. With flexibility comes the ability to respond to different conditionssuch as wide swings in temperature, or changes in food availability.
The so-called cognitive buffer hypothesis is not the only possible explanation for the evolution of brain sizebut it is an important and influential one.
Relative brain size is a measure of the size of the brain as compared to the bodythink: an ostrichs brain might be much bigger than a chickadees brain, but so is the ostrichs body. Predictably, the global distribution of relative brain size of birds follows a bell curve, with most species landing squarely in the middle, and only a handful of outliers with relatively large or relatively small brains.
Previous studies had found general trends towards larger relative brain sizes in higher latitudes, where conditions are more variableconsistent with the cognitive buffer hypothesis. Fristoe and Boteros new study is different because it looks at the full distribution of brain sizes across environments, allowing them to test whether different sizes are over- or under-represented.
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A Male Ostrich Performs A Dance To Court A Female Ostrich
The male ostrich uses its feathers to attract a hen or female ostrich. Accordingly, male ostriches will also perform a dance, flap, or bow their wings to get the femaleâs attention.
According to research, the neck of a male ostrich becomes red, while the feather of the female ostrich becomes silvery when they are ready to mate.
Smaller Brains Actually Benefit Some Birds
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In highly variable environments, birds tend to have either larger or smaller brains relative to their body size, according to a new study comparing 2,062 species.
Big brains can help an animal mount quick, flexible behavioral responses to frequent or unexpected environmental changes. But some birds just dont need them.
Birds with smaller brains tend to use ecological strategies that are not available to big-brained counterparts. Instead of relying on grey matter to survive, these birds tend to have large bodies, eat readily available food, and make lots of babies.
The fact is that there are a great many species that do quite well with small brains, says Trevor Fristoe, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, now at the University of Konstanz in Germany.
Whats really interesting is that we dont see any middle ground here, Fristoe says. The resident species with intermediate brain size are almost completely absent from high latitude environments. The species that dont go all in on either of the extreme strategies are forced to migrate to more benign climates during the winter.
What we found is that alternative ecological strategies that either increase or decrease investments in brain tissue are equally capable of coping with the challenges of living in high-latitude environments, he says.
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Which Animals Are Vigilant
To illustrate which animals display vigilance behavior, I think it is suitable to cite the introduction in Bertrams 1980 article on ostrich vigilance.
Ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. However, they may bury the head deep in the grass and other low vegetation on which they are feeding. When they do so, the head is invisible to the observer, and correspondingly, the ostrichs ability to observe anything in its environment must be exceedingly small. In particular, its ability to detect visually an approaching predator must be minute. Adult ostriches are known to be subject occasionally to predation by lions .
Lothar Stitz, Rudolf Rott, in, 1999
Other Amazing Facts About Ostriches
Ostriches are the only birds that can survive for long without water by drawing water from the food they eat. They like feeding on locusts and small animals such as lizards. People often hunt them for eggs and meat with their meat being among the most expensive in the world.
Did you know that an ostrich is the fastest running bird? Did you know that an ostrich can run faster than a lion or a leopard? If you want to know how fast an ostrich runs, go pick its egg and take off and see how far you will go.
Unlike other birds, ostriches do not have breastbones and they only have two toes that help them run even on sand without sinking.
Did you know that ostriches have very strong kicks? It is said that one kick of an ostrich can kill a lion.
An ostrich lays the largest and the heaviest egg. Its egg is an equivalent to 24 chicken eggs. And, it takes approximately two hours to boil a single egg of an ostrich.
A female ostrich can recognize her own eggs even if it is mixed in many others. They are very protective of both their eggs and young ones.
Did you know that ostriches are the only animals with a very bad temper? If two families meet in the wild, they will start a fight without any hesitation. Winners in the fight take over the offspring of the defeated couple. Just like that. No argument.
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Host Range And Virus Propagation
Natural infection with BDV was first described in horses, sheep, cattle, and rabbits. Later, cats, ostriches, and various zoo ruminants were identified as natural hosts. Reports of infection in goats, deer, and donkeys have not been proved unequivocally, but are plausible in view of the broad experimental host range. The role of BDV in human disease remains controversial. Seropositive reactions have been reported in patients with psychiatric disorders from Germany, the US, and Japan. The presence of virus-specific nucleic acid has also been reported in postmortem brain samples of patients with schizophrenia, affective disorders, and hippocampal sclerosis. Virus has been recovered from the brain of one schizophrenic patient. Some investigators have also reported BDV nucleic acid in monocytes of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, affective disorders, and schizophrenia. However, other investigators have been unable to independently replicate experiments showing human infection. The route for human infection is unknown as no convincing correlation has been established between the distribution of potential cases and infected individual animals or herds.
J. Lind, in, 2010
Which Bird Has Biggest Eyes
The eye of a bird is larger compared to the size of the animal than for any other group of animals, although much of it is concealed in its skull. The ostrich has the largest eye of any land vertebrate, with an axial length of 50 mm , twice that of the human eye.
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Ostrichs Eyes Are Bigger Than Its Brain
Ostrich eyes are indeed large , and bigger than their brains but this does not make them stupid, however. it is not a case of an undersized brain but rather of oversized eyes. Bird brains are generally smaller than in mammals of the same body mass but this reflects the different emphases on sensory perception and the need to process this information.
The Verdict Is In But Will Our Oceanic Friends Ever Get The Same Legal Protections As Land Animals
When Culum Brown was a young boy, he and his grandmother frequented a park near her home in Melbourne, Australia. He was fascinated by the parks large ornamental pond wriggling with goldfish, mosquitofish, and loaches. Brown would walk the perimeter of the pond, peering into the translucent shallows to gaze at the fish. One day, he and his grandmother arrived at the park and discovered that the pond had been drainedsomething the parks department apparently did every few years. Heaps of fish flapped upon the exposed bed, suffocating in the sun.
Brown raced from one trash can to another, searching through them and collecting whatever discarded containers he could findmostly plastic soda bottles. He filled the bottles at drinking fountains and corralled several fish into each one. He pushed other stranded fish toward regions of the pond where some water remained. I was frantic, running around like a lunatic, trying to save these animals, recalls Brown, who is now a marine biologist at Macquarie University in Sydney. Ultimately, he managed to rescue hundreds of fish, about 60 of which he adopted. Some of them lived in his home aquariums for more than 10 years.
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