The Emu is a large flightless bird and is one of the world's largest birds. It is slightly smaller than the Ostrich. They have strong legs and run fast- up to 50 kilometres per hour. Emus are good swimmers and like to play in water or mud.
1.5 to 2 metres tall
Arid inland plains, tropical woodlands, heathlands and coastal dunes
Fruits, seeds, growing shoots of plants and insects. They swallow small stones which stay in the gizzard and help grind up food. They drink 9-18 litres of water daily.
The female lays up to 20 large dark green eggs. Each egg weighs about 600g. The male incubates the eggs for 7-8 weeks and looks after the hatchlings for six months.
Found only in Australia. It lives throughout most of the continent, from coastal regions to the dry interior.
Map is from Atlas of Living Australia website at http://biocache.ala.org.au licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License
Emus are farmed in Australia an overseas. They are used to produce:
* oil for cosmetics and rubbing ointments
* leather for book binding boots, wallets, fashion accessories
* meat for the gourmet market
* feathers for dusters and fashion accessories;
* eggs for carving into decorations.