Introduction: This list of the 5 largest living birds in the world is based on height, body mass, and wingspan. There are many interesting facts about birds and there are over 9000 living species of birds to learn about.
Native to the African contenent, there are five recognised subspecies; the Southern, North African, Masai, the Somalian, and the Arabian Ostrich. Adults can be 6 to 9 foot tall and weigh from 200 to 340 lbs. They live in arid, open savannah areas and can run up to 45 mph. Their eggs are the largest of any living bird being some 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long, 13 centimetres (5.1 in) wide, and weighing around 1.4 kilograms (3.1 lb).
Native to Australia, the Emu has 3 living subspecies; the Woodward, the Rothschild, and the New Holland. Reaching just over 6.5 feet high, they can weigh up to 106 lbs, and run up to 31 mph. Their long legs can take strides of some 9 feet when running. The eggs are just over 5 inches long and weigh up to 2 lbs, are dark green in color with very thick shells.
Found in Northeastern Australia, Southern New Guinea, and the Aru islands, the Southern Cassowary stands around 5 to 6 foot tall and can weigh up to 130 lbs., surpassing the Rhea in weight. They have large, hornlike yet soft crests and can be quite aggressive. Cassowaries can run up to 31 mph and are good swimmers. They have large 5 inch long eggs that the males incubate.
There are two existing species of South American Rhea, the Greater and Darwin's Rhea. Adult males can stand some 4.9 feet high and weigh up to 88 lbs. They can run at speeds up to 38 mph and defend themselves with powerful kicks.
By weight the Emperor Penguin is the 5th largest at some 75 lbs for the 3.6 ft. tall adults. By wingspan the Great Albatross is the 5th in line with a wingspan of just over 11.2 feet. The African Marabou Stork makes it to the 5th tallest, standing around 4.5 feet tall with a wingspan of 10.5 ft.
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