Facts about Southern cassowary

20 facts about Southern cassowary

Casuarius casuarius

They are very large flightless birds living in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia. As a ratite, it is related to emu, ostriches, rheas and kiwis.
Its Latin name is Casuarius casuarius, and it belongs to the family Casuariidae.
It has many common names like "double-wattled cassowary," "Australian cassowary" or "common cassowary." There is a number of subspecies of this bird.
The name Casuarius is derived from the Malay language.
The term "kasu" means horned, and "weri" means head.
They live in northeastern Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia.
Tropical rainforests are their primary habitat, but they can also be found in wetlands or savanna.
It is the heaviest bird in Australia and the second heaviest in the world.
It is second only to the ostrich.
Adult cassowaries have a black body with a blue head, a reddish cape, and two red wattles hanging down around the throat. The head is protected by a large casque made of bone tissue.
The neck color can vary in different individuals due to the habitat in which they live.
Juvenile cassowaries do not have a helmet.
Bird's casque starts to develop after the first year of life.
Females are more brightly colored than males.
In juvenile specimens, the body color is more brownish.
They are one of the biggest living birds.
Adults are about 1,7 m (5.6 ft) tall and weigh between 55 and 76kg (121 to 167 lb). Their beak can be very long, ranging from 9.8 to 19 cm (3,9 to 7,5 in). Females are larger than males.
They are frugivores.
Their diet consists of many tropical forest fruits. Over 238 species of plants have been recorded on the Southern Cassowary diet. They are considered plant seeders as fruit seeds cannot be digested by the short digestive tract. Seeds in the cassowaries' droppings germinate more quickly, probably due to fertilization with excreta.
Southern cassowaries are solitary animals.
They spend only a few weeks in pairs during the mating season, which begins in June and ends in October.