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Scientific Name: Dromaius novaehollandiae

Habitat: forest, scrubland, grassland and desert

Diet: grass, flowers, seeds, insects

Life span: 5-10 years (25 years captivity)

Young: 9-20 eggs/clutch

Size: 45-70 kg (99–154 lbs)

Although they can’t fly, emus are strong runners reaching speeds of 50 km/h and covering more than 7.5 metres (25 ft) in one stride.

Emus were considered pests by farmers because they kicked down fences to gain access to fields. They were killed to the brink of extinction because it was thought emus were eating the crops. Fortunately people realized these birds were eating burrs that tangle sheeps’ wool, caterpillars, and grasshoppers.

Emus are the second largest bird in the world. After laying 8-10 eggs, each weighing about 0.7 kg, the female emu pays little attention to her clutch. Instead, the smaller male emu tends to the nest of dark green eggs and incubates them for 8 weeks. After the eggs have hatched, the father continues guarding the chicks for 6-9 months.

Learn more about this species:

These are some other websites that we think have more great information about this species.

Emu on Animal Diversity Web


Range: Australia

Status in the Wild

Status: thriving

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7


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