The cassowary is one of the most interesting bird species. Mostly known as the most dangerous bird on the planet. The cassowary is a type of flig.htles.s bird (ratite) that belongs to the order of Casua.riifo.rmes.
These long-leg.ged, large birds are cousins to the emus and have 3 subspecies, the most common being the southern cassowary.
They can be found in the tro.p.ical forests of New Guinea, the north.easter.n part of Australia, and the Aru Islands.
1. The southern cassowary is Earth’s second-heaviest bird.
Scientists reco.gni.ze three living species of cassowary—all of which live in New Guinea, northeastern Australia, and nearby islands. The dwarf casso.wary is the smallest, with an average height of around 3 feet.
The northern cassowary, an orange-throated behemoth, can stand nearly 5 feet tall. The southern cassowary is bigger than both at 5 foot 6 inches tall.
The only two birds that grow taller are ostriches and emus. Adult southern cassowary females can weigh up to 157 pounds, and males 121 pounds, making them the second-heaviest birds on the planet behind ostriches.
2. Cassowaries have dangerous feet.
In the southern cassowary’s Australian range, you might come across warning signs that read “Be Cass-o-wary.”
Heed this advice. Normally, cassowaries are shy and reclusive, but they can become aggressive when threatened and strike back with powerful head-butts and pecks.
Their most dangerous we.apon is the razor-sharp claw on the middle toe of each foot, which, in south.ern cassowaries, grows to be 5 inches long. The birds deliver a series of downward kicks that have been known to break bones and cause fata.l lace.rations.
Did you know that cassow.aries are the only large flightless bird adapted for life in the rainforest? The southern casso.wary is the largest of the 3 species of cassowary and their feet have three toes with a stout claw, while the middle toe has a long dagg.er-like claw.