How Fast Can An Ostrich Run? Everything You Need To Know

How Fast Can An Ostrich Run

The Common ostriches are the largest and heaviest bird in the world and weigh 150 kg and have a height of 2.8m. However, ostriches cannot fly and it is because of their weight.

If they want to cover a distance, then they have to rely on their legs for covering that distance. This raises the question that how fast can an ostrich run?

And In this article, I’ve explained everything related to the running capabilities of ostriches. 

How Fast Can Ostriches Run?

Ostriches have a sprint speed of 40 to 45 mph and they can easily cover 5 meters in one single stride.

They can even approach a speed of 60 mph during short bursts. This makes these birds the fastest terrestrial animal with two legs.

When it comes to maintaining speed, these birds have good stamina which helps them to maintain a speed of 30 mph to 38 mph for around half an hour and sometimes even longer than this. 

This means that these birds can run a 26-mile marathon in approximately 35 to 40 minutes.

These birds also have large eyes which helps them to see their large predators such as lions and hyenas from a distance of 2 miles. Their eyes are even bigger than their brains and it has a diameter of 5 cm. 

Are Ostriches the fastest running birds?

There are two species of ostrich in the world. It includes the Common Ostrich and the Somali Ostrich. The common ostrich is bigger than the Somali ostriches.

However, both species can run fast. They can easily exceed the speeds of 40 mph and they can cover 5 meters in one single stride.

Even some ostriches were measured to reach speeds of around 60 mph over very short distances. This makes this bird to be known as the fastest running bird in the world. 

How Ostriches Can Run So Fast?

There are three anatomical features in ostriches that help them to have crazy speed and stamina. 

First, their elastic and enormous legs have bulky & well-developed upper-leg muscles. 

Second, they have a perfect center of gravity. Third, they have stabilized wings and which direct them whilst sprinting. 

When it comes to the legs of ostriches, they have huge legs and they are around 40 cm to 55 cm in length. Even their legs have elastic energy which is twice that of human legs.

They have powerful tendons which make their legs so powerful. The legs of these birds can swing forward and back at high speeds and they are also thick and robust. 

In addition to this, ostriches have big, round and balanced bodies which help them to remain stable. The center of gravity of ostriches is perfectly tuned to run.

These birds cannot fly but they use their 2m large wings to stay balanced at high speeds. They help them to avoid easy falls and not to get injured while running. 

Why Do Ostriches Run Fast?

The legs of ostriches are extremely long and powerful with elastic tendons. This shows that these birds are physiologically built for running.

Even their center of gravity helps them to have stability even at the speed of 45 mph. These birds have heavy weight which prevents them from flying.

Their powerful legs help them to outrun the predators and move between territories in pursuit of nesting groundings, water, and food. 

Ostriches’ speed and stamina along with their excellent sight and tend to live in groups of 10 to 12 ostriches help these birds to stay resilient to predators.

Their running abilities help them to find food and other resources amongst the vast arid Africa plans and savannah. They rely on their running speed for gaining food, water, or nesting sites. 

How Long an Ostrich Can Run?

Ostriches can cover long distances by running and too without taking any rest. At a speed of around 30 mph, these birds can cover a distance of 26 miles in around 40 minutes and even less than this. 

How Far Ostriches Can run in a Day?

It is difficult to estimate how far these birds can run in a day. They are capable of covering long distances by running which is difficult to estimate.

An ostrich can sustain a speed of 30 mph over 1 hour and can cover 180 miles in a 12-hour with one hour rest between each 1-hour running period.

However, these birds run only when they want to escape danger or want to find food and water. 

Can all species of Ostrich run fast?

Among both the species of the ostriches, the Common ostrich can run a little fast than the Somali ostrich. However, they both can reach sprint speeds exceeding 45 mph but the Common ostrich is faster than Somali. 

Are Ostriches better than Cheetahs in running?

No, there is no terrestrial animal that can outrun a cheetah. Cheetahs are the fastest land animal on the planet. They can reach the speed of 75mph.

Thus is much faster than the highest speed of the ostrich. However, cheetahs rarely prey on ostriches.

It is so because these birds are so strong and big that they can kill a cheetah with a single kick. Due to this cheetahs don’t prey on ostriches. 

Can an Ostrich outrun a lion?

When it comes to comparison with lions, then ostriches can easily outrun the lions over a long distance.

However, lions have similar sprint speeds as that ostriches but they can sustain it for a short period.

If a lion is close enough to an ostrich, he can easily catch an ostrich with a well-timed attack. 

But ostriches are not easy targets for lions or any predators. It is so because they have excellent eyesight combined with speed, endurance, and strength.

They can easily protect themselves against one or multiple lions. They tend to live in groups of 10 to 12 which makes it even harder to attack these birds. 

Can a Human run Faster than an Ostrich?

No, a human can never run faster than ostriches. The speed of ostriches is double that of the speed of an average human.

Human sprint speed has a world record of around 27 mph which is very less than ostriches. No human in past or present can outrun ostriches and not even over a short distance. 

What to do if an Ostrich chases you?

Ostriches usually don’t attack as they are not very aggressive. But they can defend themselves or their young ones and may attack if provoked.

These birds know about their strength and they are not afraid of defending themselves. However, it is advised that never get too close to this bird in the first place.

A distance of around 100m should be maintained. But if an ostrich gets too close to you, then move away cautiously and make yourself small by lying on your front with your head protected. You have to avoid the kick at all costs. 


Ostriches are the fastest terrestrial running animal with two legs. With a sprint speed of 40 to 45mph, these birds can outrun any human.

However, it is never recommended to go close to these birds as they can kill their predators with a single kick which means that they are even dangerous to humans.

Therefore, always maintain a distance of 100m with these birds. 

At last, I hope this article was helpful enough for you. Thank You For Reading!

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