Common Ostrich


Common Ostrich

Scientific Name

Struthio camelus


Ostriches are the world’s largest birds. They cannot fly, but they can run very fast – sometimes sprinting up to 43 miles an hour!

Their speed is partly due to their long and powerful legs, which can cover 3-5 meters in one stride and are strong enough to kill lions.

They don’t actually bury their heads in the sand, but will lie low to hide themselves from potential predators, stretching their long necks along the ground, making it look as though they’ve buried their heads in the ground.


Ostriches are omnivores and will eat a varied diet. Their main diet includes roots, leaves and seeds. Ostriches have been known to eat insects, lizards and even snakes and rats.

Size Fact

Ostriches are tall birds at 2.1 – 2.7m high.

Food Fact

Ostriches also swallow sand and pebbles to help grind up the food in their stomachs.

Fun Fact

Ostriches don’t actually bury their heads in the sand – it’s a myth.

IUCN Red list

Common Ostriches are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Where do I live?

Ostriches can be found across the African continent. Once they inhabited Libya but are now extinct there. However, populations have been introduced in Australia.

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