Ostriches are incredibly interesting creatures that reside predominately within the savannas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Once found all over Africa and Asia ostriches have been the victim of extensive hunting, so much so that they’re now only found living in hot savannas, and woodland in the wild and in ostrich farms which have sprung up over America and the UK to name but a few countries who have adopted the practice.
As the largest bird in the world, ostriches are flightless, have a very long neck, a round body, and long thin legs. They have great maneuverability and can reach speeds in excess of 43 mph with a single stride. They have shaggy looking feathers that hang loosely and only the males are black and white with the females being a light brown colour and while new age ostrich farms are popping up all over America and the UK alike as well as the rising increase of “drive through” zoos, the question of “How has captivity affected these animals?” comes directly to mind. However I would be lying if I didn’t say that the effect of captivity along side humans on these large birds was not only hilarious but incredibly awkward as fuck.
You see, in the late 90’s in Britain, several ostrich farmers found out just what kind of effect captivity did have on their ostriches when they began noticing a phenomenon where both male and female ostriches would engage in mating ritual like behavior in the presence of their owners, despite whether or not an ostrich of the opposite sex was present at the time. The most glaring representation of this is that male ostriches during mating season will flap their wings and bow displaying their plumage to attract a female and when a male is ready to mate its beak, shins, and sometimes even its neck turn red.
Scientists were contacted soon after and eventually decided to address this issue by beginning a study researching into this phenomenon.
What they discovered was that:
A. Courtship behaviour of adult male and female ostriches was observed in the presence and absence of human beings.
B. Courtship behaviours in both males and females were more prevalent in the presence of humans.
There are several possibilities for why this might be including:
1. A show of superiority and an exclamation of “This is my territory.”
2. A bid for more food.
or the unfortunate and awkward as fuck final option,
3. They wish to mate with a human.
As hilarious as this is, we really must ask the question of why this is happening, and while the video above presents a few good theories as to why this is, there really is no solid evidence as to why.
It is important however to note that while you yourself may find these interactions incredibly awkward and/or funny these animals mean business and can and have attacked humans, and with the ability to deliver a forward kick with enough strength to kill a grown lion in a single blow these animals are NOT to be messed with. Example below of an ostrich attack.
So while you may be interested in sharing a hug with these adorable behemoth animals for being confused about what you are, or just laughing from the sidelines, NEVER approach these animals. They can and have killed humans, cheetahs, hyenas, and even lions.
They are not your friends, they are dangerous animals, and with raptor like talons at the end of their feet, if they don’t kill you, they at the very least will maul you. I personally pity any fool brave enough to square up with an ostrich and think they can get away with it, and for all you readers thinking of doing something nefarious to one of these silly big birds, I personally hope an ostrich disembowels you. 😉