The Ostrich is a large flightless bird native to Africa. It is the only living species of its family. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at maximum speeds of about 70 km/h [the top land speed of any bird]. The Ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any living bird [extinct elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand laid larger eggs].
The diet of the Ostrich mainly consists of plant matter, though it also eats insects. When threatened, the Ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or will run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick from its powerful legs.
The Ostrich is farmed around the world, particularly for its feathers, which are decorative and are also used as feather dusters. Its skin is used for leather products and its meat marketed commercially.
Ostriches usually weigh upto 130 kg with exceptional male Ostriches weighing up to 155kg. The feathers of adult males are mostly black, with white primaries and a white tail. However, the tail of one subspecies is buff. Females and young males are greyish-brown and white. The head and neck of both male and female Ostriches is nearly bare, with a thin layer of down. The skin of the females neck and thighs is pinkish gray, while the male's is blue-gray, gray or pink dependent on subspecies.
The long neck and legs keep their head 6 to 9 ft above the ground, and their eyes are said to be the largest of any land vertebrate – 2.0 in in diameter; they can therefore perceive predators at a great distance. The eyes are shaded from sun light falling from above.