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Latest Ratites Stories

2009-09-22 11:08:32

Authorities in Mississippi said they had to handcuff an emu and shock it with a Taser to remove the ostrich-like flightless bird from a roadway. Scott County sheriff's deputies said they initially received reports Friday of two emus on Interstate 20 and Highway 80, but they were unable to locate either of the animals until further calls Sunday placed one of the birds on the I-20 on-ramp in Forest, WBLT-TV, Jackson, Miss., reported Tuesday. Officer Kiley Culpepper said deputies had to use...

2009-07-22 09:38:23

Many animal species such as snakes, insects and fish have evolved camouflage defenses to deter attack from their predators. However research published in New Phytologist has discovered that trees in New Zealand have evolved a similar defense to protect themselves from extinct giant birds, providing the first evidence of this strategy in plant life."Plants are attacked by a bewildering array of herbivores and in response they have evolved a variety of defenses to deter predators such as thorns...

2009-07-06 11:38:24

Australian and New Zealand scientists say they have completed the first DNA-based reconstruction of the giant extinct moa bird. Researchers from the University of Adelaide and New Zealand's Landcare Research Ltd. said they used prehistoric feathers recovered from caves and rock shelters to identify four moa species after retrieving ancient DNA from the feathers believed to be at least 2,500 years old. The giant birds -- measuring up to 8.2 feet and weighing 550 pounds -- were the dominant...

2009-07-02 11:56:37

Scientists have performed the first DNA-based reconstruction of the giant extinct moa bird, using prehistoric feathers recovered from caves and rock shelters in New Zealand.Researchers from the University of Adelaide and Landcare Research in New Zealand have identified four different moa species after retrieving ancient DNA from moa feathers believed to be at least 2500 years old.The giant birds - measuring up to 2.5 metres and weighing 250 kilograms - were the dominant animals in New...

2009-06-18 17:00:22

One dad at the National Zoo in Washington -- a male rhea -- is learning that raising children gets easier as time goes on. The zoo's adult male rhea will be celebrating his second straight Father's Day with a brood of his own, having incubated and raised his charges once they were hatched, the zoo said in a news release Thursday. The four chicks, hatched May 8, are reaping the benefits of dad having a year of paternity under his wing. Zoo officials said he seemed unruffled about being a...

2009-02-09 10:39:50

A 6-foot-tall South American bird, a rhea, destroyed several gardens in the English county of Worcestershire after escaping from a farm, the bird's owner says. Sharon Gould, who owns the large rhea bird, said the animal escaped Gouldise Poultry farm by scaling a 3-foot-high fence and soon was on a 7-hour spree of destruction in the area, The Daily Telegraph said Monday. We think he got spooked by a dog and jumped out of his pen and made off across the fields, Gould said of the recent escape...

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2009-01-12 10:27:50

A treasure trove of information about pre-human New Zealand has been found in feces from giant extinct birds, buried beneath the floor of caves and rock shelters for thousands of years. A team of ancient DNA and palaeontology researchers from the University of Adelaide, University of Otago and the NZ Department of Conservation have published their analyses of plant seeds, leaf fragments and DNA from the dried feces (coprolites) to start building the first detailed picture of an ecosystem...

2008-12-11 14:18:44

A Rhode Island animal sanctuary said animal control officers are searching for an escaped emu that officials believe may have wandered into Massachusetts. Pamela Hood, 41, the emu's owner at the Foster, R.I., sanctuary, said the large flightless bird escaped along with his mate and their baby three weeks ago, but the female and youngster eventually returned on their own, WCVB-TV, Boston, reported Thursday. Hood said Elmer the Emu has evaded all capture attempts, despite being shot with three...

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2008-12-02 09:30:00

The Canadian owner of two escaped and mischievous emus in rural southwestern Ontario is hoping the big birds will return home as temperatures get colder. Big Bird 1 and 2, a male and female, jumped fences weeks ago at the farm of Sandy Soulliere outside Harrow, 25 miles southeast of Windsor, the Windsor Star reported. The female was recaptured but escaped again by jumping the fence, Soulliere said. She acquired the Australian three-toed flightless birds in September to save them from being...

2008-09-11 18:01:43

Ostriches, emus, kiwis and other winged non-flyers might seem to be birds of a feather, sharing similar evolutionary origins, but the story could turn out to be much weirder, with perhaps numerous flying ancestors. This group of birds, called ratites, has been viewed by biologists as part of a larger group (paleognaths) of mostly extinct birds that are key to understanding the early evolution of birds. All living ratites are found in the Southern Hemisphere and share features associated...


Latest Ratites Reference Libraries

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2006-10-19 13:28:36

The tinamous are one of the most ancient groups of bird, members of a South American bird family of about 47 species in 9 genera. Although they look similar to other ground-dwelling birds like quail and grouse, they have no close relatives and are classified as a single family. The tinamous range is from South America and north to Mexico. They occur in a wide range of habitats. Tinamous are distantly related to the ratites, the order Struthioniiformes that includes the rheas, Emu, and...

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2006-10-19 13:26:41

The Rhea is a large flightless bird native to South America. American Rheas live in grassland, savanna, scrub forest, chaparral, and even desert, but prefer areas with at least some tall vegetation. Darwin's Rhea lives in areas of open scrub in the grasslands of Patagonia and on the Andean plateau. It is classified as endangered throughout its range. The Common Rhea, Rhea americana, is not only the largest species of rhea, but also the largest bird in the Americas. Adults weigh up to 66...

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2006-10-19 13:24:18

A kiwi is any of the species of small flightless birds endemic to New Zealand of the genus Apteryx (the only genus in family Apterygidae). There are currently six recognized species of kiwi: Great Spotted Kiwi, Apteryx haastii, distributed through the more mountainous parts of northwest Nelson, the northern West Coast, and the Southern Alps. Little Spotted Kiwi, Apteryx owenii, on Kapiti Island. The North Island Brown Kiwi, Apteryx mantelli, is widespread in the northern two-thirds of...

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2006-10-19 13:20:44

Cassowaries, Casuarius, are very large flightless birds native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and northeastern Australia. Cassowaries are part of the ratite group of birds that include the emu, rhea, ostrich, moa, and kiwi. There are three species of Cassowary recognized today: The Southern Cassowary of Australia and New Guinea; the Dwarf Cassowary of New Guinea and New Britain; and the Northern Cassowary of New Guinea. Some nearby islands have small populations of these birds, but it...

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2006-09-25 15:26:54

The Emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae, is the largest bird native to Australia and the only existing member of the genus Dromaius. It is also the second largest bird in the world by height, after the ostrich. The Emu is common over most of mainland Australia, although it avoids heavily populated areas, dense forest and arid areas. There are three existing subspecies in Australia: In the southeast, D. novaehollandiae novaehollandiae. In the north, D. novaehollandiae woodwardi. In the...

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