Another ostrich from my latest SBRM project.
The North African or "Common" Ostrich is the largest of the ostriches and the largest living bird-- measuring up to 8'(2.75m) tall. It is found on the savannas and semi-deserts of Africa, in the open dry grasslands of East Africa, South Africa, and in the Sahara and adjacent Sahel area.
It can run up to 70 km/hr (40 mph) and kill a lion with a single kick. Their primary diet includes grasses, shrubs, seeds, roots, leaves and flowers. Occasionally they consume locusts and grasshoppers. They have also been known to eat small animals, such as lizards and mice. Because they have no teeth, they swallow pebbles that help grind the swallowed foods within their gizzard.
While ostriches are farmed all over the world-- wild populations have reached threated to critically endangered statuses. The Arabian Ostrich went extinct in 1966 after it's numbers were bought down by motorized hunting. The Northern African Ostrich is on that same path. Historically it was the most widespread subspecies, ranging from Ethiopia and Sudan in the east, throughout the Sahel to Senegal and Mauritania in the west, to Egypt and southern Morocco in the north. It has now disappeared from large parts of this range, and it only remains in 6 of the 18 countries where it originally occurred, leading some to consider it critically endangered.
Rendered in Poser 2012 without Postwork. Models: Wheatfields (RDNA), Songbird ReMix Ostriches (me)
Sep 12, 2012 7:52:30 pmby Amarillis Homepage »
Ha, you did a really great job on these guys. Having known my fair share of ostrich, I like yours better than I do the real thing. You mentioned they would kill a lion with one kick, and those feet really are scary. (When I was a zookeeper, on my first day the manager took me in the African Plains barn and warned me that the most dangerous animal in there was the ostrich. True story).
Sep 13, 2012 8:08:51 amby Kinchie Homepage »
Very cute scene Ken. One of their most charming characteristics is the amazing dedication the fathers have in watching the eggs and chicks. And their courting rituals are rather spectacular too! Bit they are techy at times as you say - I remember many years back the chief Editor of Oecologia Scientific Journal was chased and kept up a windmill for most of a day by one.
A few months later I spent a good hour on a large fallen tree escaping from probably the same bird. I finally worked out that if one keeps VERY still, the ostrich loses interest and wanders off, given one a chance to sneak away! They have short attention spans!