Southern Cassowaries


The southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) also known as double-wattled cassowary, Australian cassowary or two-wattled cassowary, is a large flightless black bird. It is a ratite and therefore related to the emu, ostrich, and the genus Rhea. (See also dwarf cassowary and northern cassowary.

It has stiff, bristly black plumage, a blue face and neck, red on the nape and two red wattles measuring around 17.8 cm (7.0 in) in length hanging down around its throat.A horn-like brown casque, measuring 13 to 16.9 cm (5.1 to 6.7 in) high, sits atop the head.The bill can range from 9.8 to 19 cm (3.9 to 7.5 in). The three-toed feet are thick and powerful, equipped with a lethal dagger-like claw up to 12 cm (4.7 in) on the inner toe. The plumage is sexually monomorphic, but the female is dominant and larger with a longer casque, larger bill and brighter-colored bare parts. The juveniles have brown longitudinal striped plumage. It is the largest member of the cassowary family and is the second heaviest bird on earth, at a maximum size estimated at 85 kg (187 lb) and 190 cm (75 in) tall. Normally this species ranges from 127–170 cm (50–67 in) in length. The height is normally 1.5–1.8 m (4.9–5.9 ft)[2][3] and females average 58.5 kg (129 lb) and males averaging 29–34 kg (64–75 lb). Most adult birds will weigh between 17 and 70 kg (37 and 154 lb).[5] It is technically the largest Asian bird (since the extinction of the Arabian ostrich, and previously the moa of New Zealand) and the largest Australian bird (though the emu may be slightly taller).