As we hear the name bird the first thought which strikes the mind is their beautiful wings. Birds are usually admired for their ability to fly. But very few of us know that there are even some birds that cannot fly but they are birds. Here is a list of some of the flightless birds that existed on planet earth.
Kiwi is a bird growing 35 to 55 cm tall and weighs 0.86 to 2.4 kg. it is found usually in the grasslands, scrublands, and forests of New Zealand. It has a life expectancy of about 25 to 50 years. Its body is small and covered with brown, gray, and cream feathers, small eyes, big ear holes, a long beak with whiskers at the beginning and nostrils at the end, and strong legs.
Like other birds, kiwi cannot fly as the keel in the breastbone is absent leaving pectoral muscles unsecured. It is a super cute flightless bird with a furry body. It is an omnivore bird feeding on bugs, worms, insects, grubs, and small invertebrates.
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2. Steamer Duck
Steamer Duck weighs nearly 3.5 to 7 kg and grows up to 65 to 83.8 inches long. It is found in the aquatic regions of South America. Its life expectancy is estimated to be five to ten years. Its body usually has gray-brown feathers, white underbellies, orange feet, and brown head and neck with white bands females have an orange beak with a black ending and males have a gray bill with yellow contrast. Its wings are so small making it a flightless bird. It is an omnivore species depending on small fishes, crustaceans, insect larvae, and mollusks for nourishment.
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Penguin is one of the most popular water diving birds known growing 43 to 47 inches and weight 22 to 45 kg. It is found in the eyes, and shelves of Antarctica and has a life expectancy of around 20 years. Penguin has a long streamlined body with wings modified into flippers, the head, china, and dorsal sides of its wings are black and its underside is completely white.
Moreover, it has short and stiff wings that it can’t fold and hence is a species of bird that cannot fly. Its waddle is the most adorable sight. Penguin chicks are very fluffy and seeing them in colonies is worth watching. Penguin is a carnivore and feeds on fish, squids, and crustaceans.
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It is the most hazardous bird alive in the world. Cassowary comes after ostrich in size. But the attack of the cassowary is more dreadful than an ostrich. Their powerful legs and sharp claws are their chief weapons. With only a solitary kick they can rupture the bones of humans. It cannot fly like other birds because of the absence of keel in breastbones which secures pectoral muscles which help in flying. Once cassowary is antagonistic it bounds over the prey and attacks in both forward and backward directions. Their attack can even root the death of the victim.
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Dodo was known to be extinct in 1690. this was mainly because of the loss of their eggs, habitat problems, and human mistreatment. Dodo was up to 3 feet tall and weighed 28 to 50 lb. it was found in plains, mountains, plains, and forests of Mauritius and Madagascar. It had a living period of 10-30 years. It is a grey bird covered with feathers and a small white ending as a tail. This species was not able to fly because of its bulky body, and small feathers and never needed to escape because of no predators. It was omnivores feeding on nuts, seeds, grass, and small insects like crabs, worms, and shellfish.
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Image Source: Wikimedia
6. Great Auk
The great Auk is one of the flightless birds that existed on planet earth that grows 29-34 inches tall and weighs 5 to 8 kg. It was found in the North Atlantic Coastal waters of Ireland, Canada, Greenland, the US, France, and Britain. Though it was a bird but flightless because of its small wings and it had the ability to swim fast.
Great auk has a life anticipation of around 20 to 25 years. Its dorsal part was black with a white belly. It had a small head, neck, legs, and wings. The great auk is a carnivore animal feeding on small fishes and crustaceans. This species got extinct because of their predators, natural calamities, and hunting by humans.
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Kakapo is also acknowledged as a night parrot and can grow about 58 to 64 inches tall and usually weighs 2 to 4 kg. It is found in the coastal areas, scrublands, and grasslands of New Zealand. Its average life expectancy is about 40 to 80 years. Kakapo is a cute parrot species covered with green-colored feathers, a face similar to the owl, a blunt yellow bill, and a long round tail. Kakapo is flightless parrot species using its wings to maintain body balance and runs at a speed of 5 mph. It is a herbivore species feeding on plants, branches, shrubs, and leaves.
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Image Source: Department of Conservation
Rhea can grow up to 50 to 55 inches long and weighs nearly 23 kg. It is found in the savannas and the grasslands of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia. It has an average life anticipation of about 10 to 15 years. It is one of the most beautiful flightless birds in the world.
Rhea has a body covered with gray or off-white feathers, long and strong legs, and dull plumage but males are brighter than females and have blue eyes. Rhea is aggressive and its bulky body doesn’t allow it to fly it uses its wings to balance the body weight while running. It is an omnivore bird feeding on seeds, fruits, roots, alfalfa, small insects, rodents, fishes, reptiles, and scorpions.
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Image Source: Wikimedia
9. Great Spotted Kiwi
Great spotted kiwi can grow up to 44 to 55 cm long and weighs 2.4 to 3.3 kg. It is found in the scrublands and forests of New Zealand. It has an average life expectancy of about 12 to 18 years. It has a curved small body whose color ranges from light brown to dark gray with white stripes over the body, a long beak, and dark and strong legs and claws with four toes. The great spotted kiwi is a flightless bird. It moves around with its long legs and is an omnivore feeding on beetles, spiders, and earthworms.
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Image Source: Wikimedia
Moa can grow up to 12 feet tall and weighs 230 kg. It is found in the high-rainfall forests of New Zealand and has a lifespan of about 10 to 30 years. Moa has a body covered with yellowish-brown or reddish-brown feathers, long necks, and long legs. Its wing bones are either smaller or missing making it unable to fly. It is an aggressive bird and is an herbivore mostly nourishing on the leaves, flowers, berries, fruits, twigs, and shrubs.
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Image Source: Wikimedia
These are some of the amazing flightless birds that existed on planet earth. Kindly share and do post your comments.