The common ostrich is a large, flightless bird that lives in Africa. It is a record breaker in many ways; not only is it the biggest, tallest and heaviest bird, it’s also the fastest bird on land, the fastest two-legged animal, and it lays the largest eggs of any animal.

The common ostrich is a member of a group of (mainly) large, flightless birds called ratites. The other ratites that are alive today are rheas, cassowaries, emus and kiwis (kiwis are much smaller than the other ratites).

In 2014, the Somali ostrich, previously considered to be a subspecies of common ostrich, was recognized as being a separate species. On this page, when we talk about an ‘ostrich’, we’ll be referring to the common ostrich rather than the (very similar) Somali ostrich.

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