15 Difference Between Emu and Ostrich (With Table)

Emu and ostrich are the two types of bird which are large and cannot fly. They both have long necks, long and strong legs, and big eyes. Ostrich is the largest by height and native of Africa. Emu is the second largest by height and native of Australia.

So, what is the difference between emu and ostrich? An emu is a second largest bird in the world and native of Australia while the ostrich is the largest bird in the world and native of Africa.

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Comparison Table (Emu vs Ostrich)

Characteristics Emu Ostrich
Meaning Refers to a large, flightless, fast-running Australian bird with shaggy grey or brown plumage, bare blue skin on the head and neck, and three-toed feet. Refers to a large, flightless, swift-running African bird with a long neck, long legs, and two toes on each foot.
Size It is the second-largest in the world. It is the largest in the world.
Length It grows up to 1.8m in length. The male ostrich grows up to 2.8m in length.
Weight It grows up to 40kg. Grows up to 120kg.
Posture They carry their head below the level of their body. Walk while their head is held above their body level.
Color of plumage Both male and female emu have the brown color of plumage. The male has black plumage color with white feathers on the wings and tail while the female has grey-brownish plumage color.
Number of toes They have three toes. They have two toes.
Speed of running Its speed is 30 miles per hour. It has a speed of 40 miles per hour.
Lifespan It lives between 10-20 years. It lives between 40-50 years.
Habitat Inhabits sclerophyll forests and wooded savannahs. Inhabits savannah and semi-deserts.
Nativity A native of Australia. Native of Africa.
Behavior It is friendly. It is more aggressive.
Egg size The eggs are 1-1.5 pounds. The eggs are 3 pounds and they are the largest in the world.
Color of the egg They are greenish-blue in color. They are white in color.
Mating They form mating couples. The male mates with 6-7 females.
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What is Emu?

Emu is the second largest, flightless bird in the world. It is of Australian native. It has shaggy grey or brown plumage and bares blue skin on the head and on the neck. It has three toes on each foot. A mature emu weighs about 40 kg and grows up to 1.8m in length.

Emu inhabits sclerophylly forests and wooded savannah that provide plenty of open space. It avoids leaving in thick forests and populated areas. Both male and female looks similar as they both have brown plumage although the females develop black color feathers and blue patches on their heads during mating. They form couples during mating.

The females lay eggs and they are incubated by the males for 56 days. During this period the males do not eat nor drink. The males also take care of the chicks after hatching up to 5-6 months. Emus are kept for oil production, meat, and leather.

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What is an Ostrich?

Ostrich is the largest flightless bird in the world. It’s native in Africa. It has long and strong legs that enable them to run at a high speed. They have long necks and two toes on each foot. A mature ostrich weighs about 120kg and a male ostrich grows up to 1.8m in length.

Ostrich inhabits savannah and semi-deserts. Male and female ostrich vary with the color of their plumage. Males have white-tipped black feathers while females have greyish-brown plumage. During mating, they form groups whereby one male ostrich can mate with 6-7 females.

After the females have laid the eggs, the females incubate the eggs during the day and the males incubate the eggs at night. Ostriches are kept for feathers as they are used to produce decorative items and dusters. They are more aggressive and they use their beaks to bite.

Main Differences between Emu and Ostrich

  1. Emu is the second largest flightless bird in the world while the ostrich is the largest flightless bird in the world.
  2. Emu has three toes on each foot while ostrich has two toes on each foot.
  3. Emu is a native of Australia while ostrich is native of Africa.
  4. A mature emu weighs about 40kg while a mature ostrich weighs about 120kg.
  5. Emu inhabits sclerophyll forests and wooded savannah while ostrich inhabits savannah and semi-deserts.
  6. Emu is friendly while ostrich is very aggressive and can bite using its beak.
  7. Male emu incubates the eggs while it is the responsibility of both male and female ostrich to incubate the eggs.
  8. Emu forms couples during mating while ostrich form groups whereby one male can mate with 6-7 females.
  9. Emu produces eggs that can weigh between 1-1.5 pounds while ostrich produces eggs that can weigh up to 3 pounds and they are the largest eggs in the world.
  10. Emu carries their head below their level of the body while ostrich walks with their head held above their body level.
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Similarities between Emu and Ostrich

  1. Both are kept on farms for various uses.
  2. Both emu and ostrich, males are involved in incubating the eggs and taking care of their chicks.
  3. Both are omnivores.
  4. Both have long necks, long and strong legs to enable them to run.
  5. Both are flightless due to flat breastbone without a keel which makes them unable to fly.
  6. Both are the two largest birds of the world and belong to the infraclass Palaeognathae.

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In Conclusion

Emu is the second largest flightless bird in the world of Australian natives. It has brown feathers. Ostrich is the largest flightless bird in the world of the African natives. Both emu and ostrich cannot fly but they have long and strong legs for running. The main features that make emu different from ostrich are the size and nativity.

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