- Firstly, the term Cassowary actually applies to a genus of large flightless birds. Currently, three species still exist today. Also, the Southern Cassowary remains by far the most common of the three varieties.
- In addition, among known similar birds, this fascinating animal also ranks as the second heaviest, and third tallest of them all. Further, the truly unique birds generally remain quite reclusive, and also highly elusive.
- But, the species also remains quite shy, even more so than most wild animals. The large bird also continues to be well known for its ability to rapidly disappear into the dense rainforest when approached.
- Finally, the rather surprising animal generally has a remarkably shy demeanor, as well. However, if provoked the creature does has the ability to inflict serious, possibly even fatal, injuries to humans.
Cassowary Physical Description
Most notably the amazing species displays a comparatively moderate degree of sexual dimorphism. Due to this physiological trait, among all three species of Cassowary, the female typically develops as the larger of the genders.
But regardless of this, most males still typically attain a remarkable average height of around 5.9 ft (1.8 m). Meanwhile, females often reach a height of as much as 6.6 ft (2 m). Further, large females sometimes weigh as much as an amazing 129 lb (58.5 kg).
The feathers of females also generally appear more colorful than those of the males. The wings remain vestigial and extremely small. The legs of this bird develop as rather powerful. Individuals have the ability to run at speeds of as much as 31 mph (50 km/h).
It also has a long, sharp claw on the middle of each of the three toes. This claw sometimes grows to a length of as much as 5 in (12.6 cm). This serves as a powerful means of self defense, since it can strike with great force and accuracy.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Casuariiformes
- Family: Casuariidae
- Genus: Casuariius
Cassowary Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most notably, the Cassowary evolved as endemic to the extremely wet and humid rainforest. It only occurs naturally in a few specific areas. These regions include New Guinea, northeastern Australia, and local islands.
It also has a tendency to wander into grasslands, savanna, and swampy regions in search of food. Except for mating season, the Cassowary usually lives as a solitary animal. Males appear to be highly territorial, and females seem to be less territorial.
The bird can also deliver a serious, even fatal blow with this dangerous claw. Though attacks on humans rarely occur, there have been serious injuries, even fatalities reported. Nature designed it with a means of defending itself.
Finally, the animal evolved as primarily frugivorous in its eating habits. But, sometimes individuals will also supplement that with the occasional flower, snail, frog, rodent, etc. These it feeds on opportunistically.