The ostrich is one of the favorite animals of kids because of their odd appearance. These flightless birds live in Africa although they are related to other similar birds that live on other continents too (like emus and kiwis, for example). The ostrich has an elongated neck and long and powerful legs that can help them run at 70 km/h. This is also the largest species of bird on our planet.
In the past, ostriches were living in the southern parts of Sahara, East Africa, Asia Minor and in northern Africa. Nowadays, they live in the more open land and can be found in savannas. There are also many farmed ostriches in Africa, Australia, USA, and Israel. These are the places where ostriches have founded feral populations too.
How long do ostriches live?
If you are wondering how long ostriches live, you should take a few things into account first. The most important factor that determines how long ostriches live is where they are living. If they are held in captivity, ostriches usually live between 45 and 50 years. On the other hand, the ones that are found in the wilderness live between 35 and 40 years. On the other hand, there are some ostrich farmers who claim that some of their ostriches have reached 70 years.
One of the main reasons why ostriches live shorter when they are in the wild is the presence of different kinds of predators. Besides their number one enemy – humans, ostriches have to deal with different predators in the savannas. The fact that they cannot fly makes them even more vulnerable. Spotted hyenas, African hunting dogs, leopards, lions, and cheetahs are some of the animals that attack ostriches regardless of their age. Since ostriches are very fast, their predators usually try to ambush them. Young ostriches are at greater risk because their legs are still not developed well. Egyptian vultures, mongoose, warthogs, jackals and specific types of birds are often attacking young and baby ostriches. Most ostriches try to run away when they are attacked, but if they are cornered they don’t hesitate to fight back and they are doing this quite aggressively living attackers injured.
Another reason why farmed ostriches live longer is their diet. Farmers know exactly what these birds need and they provide them nutrient-rich meals helping them keep their immune systems optimized. This is something that they cannot expect in the wildernes, especially those living close to deserts where the temperature and the environment in general are harsh.
Ostriches have a specific diet that usually consists of flowers, shrubs, seeds, fruit and grass. There are situations when they are eating insects too. What is interesting about ostriches is that they can live without drinking water for a few days because they have metabolic water and they can also use the water found in plants and food to the maximum. However, if they have access to fresh water they will use it all the time. Farmers know this and they provide fresh water to ostriches all the time so they can live longer and healthier lives.