Cassowaries live in rainforests, they eat fruits and seeds. They have a bony helmet on their head. They have feathers on their body and blue skin on the head and neck. The cassowary is a large flightless bird. There are three kinds of cassowary, two found in New Guinea and one, the southern cassowary, found in northern Queensland. Their habitat is tropical rainforest.
The cassowary has a horny helmet, called a casque, on its head. This helps it crash its way through the thick forest. The skin on the cassowary's head and neck is blue. Two long red 'wattles' hang down from the neck. The feathers on the body are black and look more like hair than feathers. The legs are thick and greyish, with three toes. The inner toe has a 12 centimetre claw-like spike, which is used in defence. Cassowaries can be dangerous when cornered.
Cassowaries eat fruit and seeds. The seeds pass through their bodies, and so the cassowary plays an important part in spreading seeds of rainforest plants. They also eat small mammals and birds they find dead.
Females are slightly larger than males. Breeding takes place between May and November. After mating, a female lays 3-6 eggs and leaves the male to sit on them for about 8 weeks until they hatch. The chicks are cream with brown stripes. They stay with the male for 9 months.
The southern cassowary is endangered. There may be as few as 1500 left in the wild. Much of the rainforest where they live has been cleared.
These birds which look like stone age birds are named the worlds most endangered species! Let's help WWF and Australian government to save it. Just sign if you want to keep this special bird alive. As told cassowary lives in rainforest but human being has taken their habitat and the birds situation is awful...there should be a big rainforest where nobody can do anything to save some endangered species!
Source: Sydenham, S. & Thomas, R. Cassowary [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au (2008)
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