Genus of flightless birds / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Ostriches are large flightless birds. They are the heaviest living birds, and lay the largest eggs of any living land animal. With the ability to run at 70 km/h (43.5 mph), they are the fastest birds on land. They are farmed worldwide, with significant industries in the Philippines and Namibia. Ostrich leather is a lucrative commodity, and the large feathers are used as plumes for the decoration of ceremonial headgear. Ostrich eggs have been used by humans for millennia.
|Montage of two living species, from left to right: common ostrich and Somali ostrich|
Ostriches are of the genus Struthio in the order Struthioniformes, part of the infra-class Palaeognathae, a diverse group of flightless birds also known as ratites that includes the emus, rheas, cassowaries and kiwis. There are two living species of ostrich: the common ostrich, native to large areas of sub-Saharan Africa, and the Somali ostrich, native to the Horn of Africa. The common ostrich used to be native to the Arabian Peninsula, and ostriches were present across Asia as far east as China and Mongolia during the Late Pleistocene and possibly into the Holocene.