Emu, a large flightless bird of Australia. It is a ratite (one of a group of flightless birds, which includes the ostrich, cassowary, and kiwi). The emu is second in size only to the ostrich. It is about five feet (1.5 m) tall and weighs up to 120 pounds (54 kg). The emu is covered with coarse, drooping, brownish-black feathers on the back and light brown feathers on the legs. The neck is bare and is light blue. Emus can run up to 30 mph (48 km/h) and are good swimmers. They feed on vegetation, fruit, and insects. Males communicate with low guttural noises; females with loud booming calls. The female lays 7 to 12 dark green eggs with grainy shells in a ground nest of leaves and grass. The male incubates the eggs and cares for the chicks. The chicks are pale gray with light yellow stripes down the neck and back. During the 1930’s, they were considered pests and were hunted extensively.
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