Emu

EmuScientific Name: Dromaius novaehollandiae
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Body Length: 1.6–1.9 m
Weight: 30–45 kg
Incubation: 53–61 days
Number of eggs: 5–15

Distribution: Australia
Habitat: All habitats

Description: Emus are large flightless birds with strong, powerful legs and three toes on each foot. They have small wings and their body is covered with greyish-brown feathers. Emus have blueish skin on their faces and necks.

Diet: Emus are omnivores and eat leaves, fruit and flowers as well as insects.

In the wild: Emus live in small groups but can form flocks of thousands when migrating. Emus pair up in late summer in a relationship that lasts about five months. Once the eggs are laid, females wander off, leaving the male to incubate the eggs. During this time, he does not leave the nest, not even for food or drink. When the eggs hatch, the young stay with the male for up to six months.

Threats: Three distinct subspecies of emu once inhabited Tasmania, Kangaroo Island and King Island, but all three were systematically exterminated in the early years of European settlement.

At Perth Zoo: Perth Zoo’s emus can be seen in the Australian Bushwalk, near the Walk-through Aviaries.

Did you know? An emu can run at speeds of 48 kph.

Download the Emu Fact Sheet (pdf).

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