The ostrich Latin name, given by Linnaeus in the 18th century, means "camel sparrow", alluding to its long neck.
There are five subspecies of Ostrich, all in Africa.
Ostriches are the largest birds in the world and flightless, but very fast running, achieving a speed of 45 mph. They are among the fastest growing of any animal with food to weight ratio of 3.5:1, only exceeded by the chicken at 2.5:1. They grow to about 150kg.
Ostriches lay the largest egg of any bird (1.4kg), but it is the smallest egg for its size compared to other birds (1%).
They are farmed for their meat, but also for their thick skin and feathers.