How Tall Is An Ostrich? (With Examples.)
How tall is an ostrich? This will depend on the species, but the average adult male ostrich is about nine feet tall. (2.73 meters.)
This is obviously one large species. Meanwhile the female ostriches are smaller but not by a very significant margin. Females can range around 5 ft. 6 in to 6 ft. 7 in. (1.7 to 2 meters.) Below image compares the ostrich to a six foot man and a giraffe at 18 foot.
This is one large bird. To put that in perspective, a basketball hoop is ten foot high off the ground.
What is the largest flightless bird?
The ostrich gets the title again, it is not only the tallest bird, but also the largest bird that can’t fly. He’ll typically weigh in at about 139 to 320 lbs. (63 to 145 kg.) A female ostrich typically weighs about ten to twenty pounds less than the males.
How does the ostrich compare to a human?
Are there any birds which can match the size of a human? A normal bird usually loses out when it comes to size compared to a human. However, the ostrich doesn’t just match a human’s height and weight, the average ostrich is both taller and heavier than almost any human.
How big is a baby ostrich?
A baby ostrich is called a chick.
Even the hatchlings weigh in with some impressive numbers. When an ostrich hatches it’s typically around two feet tall and about five lbs. But an ostrich chick puts a lot of work into catching up to its parents.
A young ostrich will typically grow by a full foot every month. This means that a newly hatched ostrich will be taller than most humans within half a year.
Ostriches compared to prehistoric birds and dinosaurs.
When we compare birds to dinosaurs one trait stands out more than any other. Most birds do look like their prehistoric ancestors when we forget about the feathers. Even a rooster can look surprisingly reptilian if we look at his full form rather than the plumage.
The strongest competitor to the ostrich’s title, the elephant bird, is extinct. Given the bird’s relation to dinosaurs it’s not too surprising to see a lot of extinctions in their lineage. However, the elephant bird survived well into what we’d consider modern times in an evolutionary sense. The species only went extinct about 3,000 years ago.
The elephant bird is similar to the ostrich in a lot of ways. It too is flightless. And elephant birds even lived fairly close to the main habitats of ostriches. Even the height of the two species is fairly similar. The average ostrich is about nine feet tall. Meanwhile the average elephant bird is about nine feet and eight inches tall.
However, the elephant bird had a much larger frame than the ostrich. It’s estimated that elephant birds could weigh as much as 1,600 lbs. That’s an impressive accomplishment when we consider that even the larger ostriches are only about 330 lbs.
We should also give honorable mention to a bird which was lost to time in a much more distant era. Stirton’s thunderbird, or dromornis stirtoni, was nearly as large as the elephant bird. It was about ten feet tall and is thought to weigh in at about 1,100 lbs. This ancient bird went extinct about five million years ago.
Why are large flightless birds so significant?
We usually only see the largest examples of a particular biological family when we go back millions and millions of years. But in the case of birds the largest ancient species aren’t much bigger than the largest modern species. The elephant bird is roughly comparable in size to Stirton’s thunderbird. And this is despite the fact that they’re separated by millions of years. Meanwhile the largest living flightless bird, the ostrich, is also only about a foot smaller than the elephant bird.
One of the most remarkable things about ostriches is their status as a living fossil. It’s thought that ostriches evolved about 12 million years ago. And of course their family line as a whole dates back to a class of dinosaurs called the ropods. This group of dinosaurs even included the t-Rex.
We can get a glimpse of this ancient line by looking at an ostrich’s feet. His feathered body will remind people of birds more than dinosaurs. But an ostrich’s feet look quite a bit like what we think of when imagining the T-Rex of old.
When we ask, how tall is an ostrich, we’re also asking for a glimpse into the prehistoric era. The flightless birds are a remnant of times we’re otherwise only able to experience through museums and movies. The t-Rex is long gone. But his cousin the ostrich lives on to tower over any mammal who crosses his path.
What does this say about birds as a whole?
We should also take a moment to consider how big the ostrich is in comparison to normal birds. These nine foot tall animals stand in stark contrast to the hand sized birds most of us see every day. And ostriches can also serve as a reminder that there’s always amazing new mysteries to discover.
We usually think of birds as tiny and delicate creatures. A bird’s eggs are notoriously fragile. Their bones are hollow. And a combination of beautiful songs and colorful feathers gives them a sense of delicate elegance. But in reality birds are the last remnants of the mighty dinosaurs. And some of the flightless birds absolutely retain their ancestor’s intimidating nature like dinosaurs.
The ostrich is not only the world’s tallest living bird, but also the largest flightless bird.