The emus vs ostrich are two of the largest birds to ever walk our planet. Both are incredible creatures that are descendants of dinosaurs and are still hunted and farmed for their skin, feathers, flesh, eggs, and oil. They both are bipedal, have super-fast running, and lack the ability to fly. Yet, these birds differ greatly in terms of their appearances, environments, diets, and other behaviors. Their differences are fascinating and provide insight into how evolution works.
Both ostriches and emus are members of the family Struthionidae, whereas the common ostrich (Struthio camelus) is the largest living bird, with the emu coming in second place. Unlike the ostrich, emus can be found in Australia and have shorter necks. They are also more slender, but they have the same long legs as the ostrich and can take big strides, up to 9 feet in one!
Struthionidae Rivalry: Decoding the Differences in Emu vs. Ostrich
Another difference between the emu and the ostrich is that ostriches have three toes on each foot, while emus only have two. However, ostriches have more tendons in their feet than emus, which allows them to run at faster speeds.
Although both ostriches and emus have tremendous stamina, the ostrich can easily surpass the human marathon record, with the ability to run for 30 minutes or more at top speeds of 35mph! The emu, on the other hand, can run at a speed of 25 to 30mph. They have long tendons in their feet as well, but they don’t reach the same level of speed as the ostrich.