Emu Size Comparison: Everything Explained In Detail

Emu Size

My first impression of an emu is that it will be little and have a cute appearance just from hearing the name.

But the reality is emus are the second-tallest bird after ostrich with an average height in males being about 148.5 cm and females being about 156.8 cm

Whenever we want to determine the size of anything we usually consider two factors height and weight.

Similarly to acknowledge the emu’s size we will be looking for their height and weight.

Emus are the second tallest with their height being measured from bill to the tail while considering their weight emu rank in fourth and fifth positions after two species of ostrich and two larger species of the cassowary.

Their size is sex-dependent, females are slightly larger than males with a wider rump comparatively.

Adult females weigh an average of 31.5 to 37 kg while Adult males vary from 18 to 60 kg.

And In this article, we’ll discuss everything about emu’s size and how it is compared to other large birds.

Height of Emu

Emu Size

Unlike their name, emu’s are one of the world’s tallest bird species with an average height of about 148.5 and 156.8cm for males and females which is approximately 5 to 6 feet, maximum of them being up to 7 feet respectively.

They have three toes on their lengthy legs, which allows them to run at a speed of roughly 50 km/h. 

There are a total of four different species of Emu. One of the common species is found in mainland of Australia about which we are talking throughout the article. 

The species found in Tasmania are now extinct but from their remains, it is concluded that they were slightly smaller than the mainland Australian species. 

And there are also some conflicts that Tasmania’s are not emu’s but some other species.

Emu’s also have two dwarf species called Dromaius minor found on king island of Tasmania and kangaroo island.

Both of these species are extinct but this was the smallest size of an emu that ever existed. This dwarfism found in king island emu is termed insular dwarfism.

Wingspan of Emu

The characteristic of wingspan is common in both male and female emu’s

They are very large birds with the tallest heads and the bulkiest bodies, yet these emus are flightless.

Their wings are a symbol of the process of evolution where an organ retains its basic structure but loses its prominent function. 

Emus have vestigial wings because of this process, which is known as vestigiality.

The measurement of their wing chord is about 8 inches, equivalent to 20 cm, with a small claw at the top of both wings.

You might wonder, What are the emus’ wings even for if they can’t fly?

Emus are structured aerodynamically so well that while running they flap their wings and gain speed of up to 48 to 50km/hr which is insane.

In addition to these emu’s are excellent swimmers.

Leg size Emu

Emu Size

Emus possess long necks and legs with highly specialized pelvic limb musculature which in addition to wings help them sprint at exceptional speeds.

Emus have three toes at their feet followed by a reduced number of bones and other foot muscles compared to any other bird.

The claw and toe together are of length 15cm (6 inches) while the bill is quite small with a length of 5.6 to 6.7 cm (2.2 to 2.6 inch) and are soft with adaptivity to grazing.

In total, their legs might length up to 1-1.3m.

With these extraordinary features emu while walking takes strides of about 3 feet and the intentional gallops can be long up to 6 feet.

The legs of the emu are not covered with features as any other body part, with their toes underneath being padded with thick cushions.

Neck size of Emu

The emu has a lengthy, light blue neck. Emu are regarded as loud birds because of their tendency to produce high-note booming noises, which is made possible by their neck sac, which measures about 12 inches in length and has a thick surrounding. 

In order to look appealing during the mating phase, the female’s neck typically turns blue.

Emu’s neck sac becomes more noticeable during the breeding season.

This pouch’s aperture measures roughly 8 cm wide

Its opening and closure determine the quality of the air being absorbed, which impacts the pitch of an emu’s call. Males don’t weep as loudly as females do.

Emu’s are found active all during the day even in heavy sunlight, I wonder how they maintain their temperature but the secret is in their black features. 

The tips absorb all the solar radiation while the inner plumage insulates the skin and this process prevents the bird from overheating and remaining active.1

Mostly the sexes are the same in appearance.

Emu’s Weight

Emu Size

Emu’s are bulkier birds and from around 30 to 60 kg (66-132lbs) with females being heavier than males.

The diet of the emu is seasonal; they usually feed on a variety of native plant species and insects followed by other arthropods, including grasshoppers and crickets, beetles, cockroaches, ladybirds, Bogong and cotton-boll moth larvae, ants, etc.

This adds a large amount of protein to their body.

Not only this they also eat charcoal, the reason for which is unclear, the captive emus also eat shards of glass, marbles, car keys, jewelry, and nuts and bolts.

Emus drink rarely throughout the day but whenever they get the changes they can ingest a large amount of it.

Due to scarcity of water, they sometimes may have to be without water for a few days.

Emu’s Baby and its Juvenile Size

Following the mating, the female stores enough sperm to fertilize roughly six eggs.

They mate every day or two, while the female every second or third day lays a clutches of five to fifteen eggs.

The eggs are on average 13cm to 9 cm and weigh between 450 to 650 g. 

Males begin incubating eggs after they are laid.

He doesn’t eat, drink, or excrete during the incubation period, and he only rises up to flip the eggs around ten times per day. He loses nearly a third of his weight during this procedure.

A 56-day incubation period is typical. The temperature of the nest starts to rise during this time.

Not every egg will hatch at once; others may take a further two to three days. The young chickens need to learn to adjust to changes in temperature. Since they were kept at a consistent temperature during the hatching process.

Within a few days of hatching, newly hatched chicks are active and capable of leaving the nest.

They have characteristic brown and cream stripes for concealment, which disappear after around three months, and are initially about 12 cm tall and 0.5 kg in weight.

How long can an emu grow?

Being the second tallest bird emu on average have a length of 4.5 to 5.5 feet but they can grow higher up to about 6.5 feet.

This height range is only for mainland Australian emus, while the other species found on the king island were dwarf.

Emu’s Size comparison with Ostrich

Ostrich is the largest bird in the world while the emu is the second largest bird in the world. 

The height of an ostrich varies from 7 feet to 9 feet which is even taller than the average human. 

While the height of an emu varies from about 4.5 feet to 5.5 feet, the highest being up to 6 feet.

The same trend is observed in their weight the average ostrich weight ranges from 220 pounds to 350 pounds, while that of an emu ranges from 90 to 150 pounds.

In ostrich, the males are heavier and taller than the females but it is reversed in the emus where females are bulkier than the males.

The main difference rises from the initial stage itself i.e their eggs. The egg of an ostrich is the world’s largest egg, weighing up to about 3.6 pounds while the egg of an emu weighs about 1.5 pounds.

Emu Size comparison with Human

The average size of an emu is from 4.5 feet to 5.5 feet with the highest being 6 feet.

This is the same trend with humans, the average height of a human is about 5 to 6 feet. 

Emus are normally minding their own business type of birds but when they find some stimuli of danger their aggression may cause some serious injuries to humans.

In Conclusion

In contrast to their name, emus are entirely different from what they sound like.

These birds have truly amazed me, and I predict that you will feel the same way after reading this in-depth article about emus’ size, breeding, and comparison to the size of an ostrich and human, followed by other interesting facts.

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