Saturday, December 26, 2009


ratites [order struthioniformes] are basal, flightless birds. what's cool about them is that, unlike most birds, their sternum is unkeeled:
that blue bit in the picture is a keeled sternum. it's great for flight because it's a place where a lot of breast muscle can attach for lift off! but ratites don't fly, so they don't have the keeled bit. in fact, their anterior limbs hardly even exist! i think it helps them run faster. ostriches can run up to 40 mph, holy smokes!

i can't decide which ratite is my favorite, but i've narrowed it down to cassowaries and kiwis:

1. BIG
2. colorful
4. head crest
5. terrifying
1. smallest of the order
2. long, thin beak for bug eatin'
3. national symbol of New Zealand
4. largest egg-to-body ratio of ...all birds, i think. something like 42% of the bird's mass is egg.
now THAT'S commitment!

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