Posted By Zoey T. Posted On

A Strikingly Handsome Bird Widely Regarded As The Most Dangerous Bird On The Planet!



Photo Courtesy of Raphaël Quinet / Some rights reserved

The cassowary is a type of flightless bird (ratite) that belongs to the order of Casuariiformes. These long-legged, large birds are cousins to the emus, ostriches, and many recently extinct species like New Zealand’s flightless moa. They have 3 subspecies, the most common being the southern cassowary. They can be found in the tropical forests of New Guinea, the northeastern part of Australia, and the Aru Islands.

 A dinosaur closely resembling a cassowary has been recently discovered, with the first relatives of today’s ratite thought to have evolved around 60 million years ago, shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Furthermore, a dinosaur fossil that is strikingly similar to a cassowary was discovered in 2017. Even though they aren’t related, cassowaries still carry a lot of ancient traits, that can only be found in a few animals today.

Photo Courtesy of Dezidor / CC BY 3.0

From a standing position, a Cassowary can jump 5 feet in the air! They can also reach speeds up to 30mph!

Photo Courtesy of FanCollector / CC BY 2.0

Their vivid blue faces with the two red wattles hanging from their necks make them look even more menacing. They also have a wide variety of alarming sounds, that include booms, hisses, rumbles, and roars. But what makes them truly dangerous are their strong legs, which end in three toes packed with sharp claws.

Photo Courtesy of frank wouters from antwerpen, belgium – Flickr / CC BY 2.0

They are capable of packing an extremely powerful kick and each toe on their foot ends in a lethal claw that can reach a grisly 5 inches (12 centimeters). Their kick alone is enough to cause serious injuries, but the dagger-like claws can inflict even more severe injuries that can lead to death.

Photo Courtesy of Public domain

Did you know that cassowaries are the only large flightless bird adapted for life in the rainforest? The southern cassowary is the largest of the 3 species of cassowary and their feet have three toes with a stout claw, while the middle toe has a long dagger-like claw.

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Arch / Some rights reserved

The southern cassowary is endangered in Queensland. Kofron and Chapman, when they assessed the decline of this species, found that of the former cassowary habitat, only 20–25% remains. Habitat loss and fragmentation is the primary cause of the decline.

Photo Courtesy of Notes on Hobbies / Some rights reserved