The Cassowaries (Family Casuariidae) in the Birds.
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Ratites & Tinamous

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Family Casuariidae

Southern Cassowary in the Casuariidae.
Southern Cassowary in the Casuariidae

The cassowaries are big birds. With the Ostrich, Emu and Rheas they are studied in a group called the Ratites. None of these birds can fly. They are adapted to a terrestrial life.

The cassowaries are natural of northern Australia, New Guinea and nearby smaller islands. They live where there is much vegetation, such as tropical jungles and forests.

They are solitary birds and could be aggressive if bothered. Each cassowary protects a territory. During the breeding season the female is allowed to stay in the male's territory until she laids the eggs. The male takes care of the eggs and the young. The female pairs with another male or simply returns to her section of the jungle.

Among the ratites, the cassowaries are the only ones to have a casque on their head. Their appearance is also heavier than the other ratites. Once adult, the feathers of all three cassowaries are black.

The main diet consists of fallen fruits they pick up from the ground, although they will also try to catch little animals which they eat.

The three living cassowaries are studied in the Casuariidae family.

Dwarf Cassowary

Southern Cassowary

Northern Cassowary

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Last revision: February 1, 2007
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