The largest animals on Earth are most likely mammals, such as blue whales, elephants, and giraffes. For the most part, at least in the UK, birds are small. A sparrow or robin is more likely to be seen here than something weighing tens of kilogrammes.
However, some bird species are surprisingly large; the tallest are even higher than humans.
The extinct elephant bird is nothing compared to even these species. It is possible that the Vorombe titan species, extinct over a millennium ago in Madagascar, weighed as much as 800 kg.
Of the three species of cassowary, Casuarius bennetti is the smallest, inhabiting forests on hills and mountains up to a height of 3 km. This bird, which is over a metre long, consumes fruit, fungi, insects, and small animals.
The mute swan (Cygnus olor), despite its name, is a vocal bird, albeit one that is quieter than other species’ and is only used infrequently. Typically, lowland freshwater marshes, lagoons, and rivers are home to them.
Darwin’s rhea, named for the naturalist who studied Rhea pennata during his second Beagle voyage, is another name for the species. Despite his difficulties, Darwin was able to locate the bird when his travelling companion, the artist Conrad Martens, shot and cooked one for dinner.
Rhea americana is an omnivorous species that lives in grasslands. It enjoys eating grasshoppers, frogs, lizards, small birds, and some snakes in addition to plants.
Also read: Oregano and its amazing health benefits
This famous species has a maximum height of 115 cm and a maximum weight of 46 kg. To get to a breeding colony, Aptenodytes forsteri will travel over ice for up to 120 km.
The emu is the fourth extant member of the Casuariidae family; the other three are cassowaries. Emus that are adults can grow to a height of 190 cm, and while their average weight ranges from 30 to 45 kg, the largest can weigh 55 kg.