When a bird is inactive, unfed, and the ambient temperature (i.e. in the thermo-neutral zone) is high, the energy expended is at its minimum. This level of expenditure is better known as the basal metabolic rate (BMR), and can be calculated by measuring the amount of oxygen consumed during various activities.[63] Therefore, in ostriches we see use of more energy when compared to smaller birds in absolute terms, but less per unit mass.

Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. The old saw probably originates with one of the bird's defensive behaviors. At the approach of trouble, ostriches will lie low and press their long necks to the ground in an attempt to become less visible. Their plumage blends well with sandy soil and, from a distance, gives the appearance that they have buried their heads in the sand.

Ostriches are able to attain their necessary energetic requirements via the oxidation of absorbed nutrients. Much of the metabolic rate in animals is dependent upon their allometry, the relationship between body size to shape, anatomy, physiology and behaviour of an animal. Hence, it is plausible to state that metabolic rate in animals with larger masses is greater than animals with a smaller mass.

Jamie Grace, from University of Derby’s School of Law and Criminology, speaks about his experience of using OERs in his teaching. Video produced by the CeLT Media team.

Close-up of head: Note the long eyelashes to protect the eyes

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When threatened, ostriches run away, but they can cause serious injury and death with kicks from their powerful legs.[38] Their legs can only kick forward.[45]

The ostrich's diet consists mainly of plant matter, though it also eats invertebrates. It lives in nomadic groups of 5 to 50 birds. When threatened, the ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick of its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females.

It is claimed that ostriches produce the strongest commercial leather.[97] Ostrich meat tastes similar to lean beef and is low in fat and cholesterol, as well as high in calcium, protein and iron. Uncooked, it is dark red or cherry red, a little darker than beef.[98] Ostrich stew is a dish prepared using ostrich meat.

Dating from 1106, The Ostrich near Heathrow, combines everything that you would expect of an historic coaching inn: beams, fireplaces, crooked stairs, a cobbled courtyard and an interesting history, with all your modern day expectations.

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Ostriches employ adaptive features to manage the dry heat and solar radiation in their habitat. Ostriches will drink available water; however, they are limited in accessing water by being flightless. They are also able to harvest water through dietary means, consuming plants such as the Euphorbia heterochroma that hold up to 87% water.[63]

The ostrich or common ostrich (Struthio camelus) is either one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member(s) of the genus Struthio, which is in the ratite family. In 2014, the Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) was recognized as a distinct species.[2][3]

The ostrich’s heart has similar features to other avian species like having a conically shaped heart, and being enclosed by a pericardium layer.[70] Moreover, similarities also include a larger right atrium volume, and a thicker left ventricle to fulfil the systemic circuit.[70] The ostrich heart has three features that are absent in related birds:

In the United States, Chandler, Arizona hosts the annual "Ostrich Festival", which features ostrich races.[107][108] Racing has also occurred at many other locations such as Virginia City in Nevada, Canterbury Park in Minnesota,[109] Prairie Meadows in Iowa, Ellis Park in Kentucky,[110] and the Fairgrounds in New Orleans, Louisiana.[111]

Please continue to visit this project website for updates on OSTRICH.

The OSTRICH project, funded by the Higher Education Academy and JISC, and led by the University of Leicester, will transfer and cascade, in usable formats, the key outcomes of Leicester’s institutional Open Educational Resource (OER) pilot project OTTER to the universities of Bath and Derby.

In ostriches, a BMR (ml O2 g−1 h−1) = 389 kg0.73, describing a line parallel to the intercept with only about 60% in relation to other non-passerine birds.[63]

These purkinje fibers (p-fibers) found in the hearts moderator bands are a specialized cardiac muscle fiber that causes the heart to contract.[73] The purkinje cells are mostly found within both the endocardium and the sub-endocardium.[73] The sinoatrial node shows a small concentration of purkinje fibers, however, continuing through the conducting pathway of the heart the bundle of his shows the highest amount of these purkinje fibers.[73]

Sir David Attenborough's Africa series took over four years to make and has brought us eye to eye with the continent's incredible wildlife in spectacular ways.

OSTRICH’s deliverables and benefits will be disseminated widely and creatively across the partnership, the sector and internationally well beyond the project’s life.

With Ooh's and Ahh's galore this video clip collection celebrates a world of adorable animal babies.

The flightless ostrich is the world's largest bird. They roam African savanna and desert lands and get most of their water from the plants they eat.

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.[8][9] The skin of the female's neck and thighs is pinkish gray,[9] while the male's is blue-gray, gray or pink dependent on subspecies.

A lovely scenic old pub situated in Newland, a beautiful village which lies on the western edge of the Forest of Dean and adjoins the Wye Valley, both areas of outstanding natural beauty.

The boss wants to get out of the kitchen but in order to do so she must find dedicated chefs who can introduce new concepts to the menu and help drive the business forward.

The ostrich belongs to the ratite order Struthioniformes. Other members include rheas, emus, cassowaries, moa, kiwi and the largest known bird ever, the now-extinct elephant bird (Aepyornis). However, the classification of the ratites as a single order has always been questioned, with the alternative classification restricting the Struthioniformes to the ostrich lineage and elevating the other groups.

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The end-product of catabolism of protein metabolism in animals is nitrogen.[66] Animals must excrete this in the form of nitrogenous compounds.[66] Ostriches are uricotelic. They excrete nitrogen as the complex nitrogenous waste compound uric acid, and related derivatives.[66] Uric acid's low solubility in water gives a semi-solid paste consistency to the ostrich's nitrogenous waste.[66]

Foot: Note the frequently missing nail on the outer toe

The long neck and legs keep their head up to 2.8 m (9 ft) above the ground, and their eyes are said to be the largest of any land vertebrate: 50 mm (2.0 in) in diameter;[10] helping them to see predators at a great distance. The eyes are shaded from sunlight from above.[11][12] However, the head and bill are relatively small for the birds' huge size, with the bill measuring 12 to 14.3 cm (4.7 to 5.6 in).[6]


You will find that 900 years of hospitality has not been wasted and today you can enjoy honest, tasty pub food, prepared from fresh local ingredients, in relaxed and comfortable surroundings, yet only a stones throw from Heathrow Airport and the main transport links.

Ostriches were farmed for their feathers in South Africa beginning in the 19th century. According to Frank G. Carpenter, the English are credited with first taming ostriches outside Cape Town. Farmers captured baby ostriches and raised them successfully on their property, and were able to obtain a crop of feathers every seven to eight months instead of killing wild ostriches for their feathers.[96]

Awards are not new to the Ostrich. Here some of our previous achievements:

A key point when looking at the ostrich metabolism is to note that it is a non-passerine bird. Thus, BMR in ostriches is particularly low with a value of only 0.113 ml O2 g−1 h−1. This value can further be described using Kleiber's law, which relates the BMR to the body mass of an animal.[90]

Ostriches typically eat plants, roots, and seeds but will also eat insects, lizards, or other creatures available in their sometimes harsh habitat.

In some countries, people race each other on the backs of ostriches. The practice is common in Africa[101] and is relatively unusual elsewhere.[102] The ostriches are ridden in the same way as horses with special saddles, reins, and bits. However, they are harder to manage than horses.[103]

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Water mass accounts for 68% of body mass in adult ostriches; this is down from 84% water mass in 35-day-old chicks. The differing degrees of water retention are thought to be a result of varying body fat mass.[63] In comparison to smaller birds ostriches have a lower evaporative water loss resulting from their small body surface area per unit weight.[66]

Common predators of nests and young ostriches include jackals, various birds of prey, warthogs, mongoose and Egyptian vultures.[52][61] If the nest or young are threatened, either or both of the parents may create a distraction, feigning injury.[57] However, they may sometimes fiercely fight predators, especially when chicks are being defended, and have been capable of killing even their largest enemies, the lions, in such confrontations.[49]