Somali ostrich

The Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes), also known as the blue-necked ostrich, is a large flightless bird native to the Horn of Africa.[2] It was previously considered a subspecies of the common ostrich, but was identified as a distinct species in 2014.[1]

Somali ostrich
Somali ostrich
Male
Struthio molybdophanes, female, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Female
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Struthioniformes
Family: Struthionidae
Genus: Struthio
Species:
S. molybdophanes
Binomial name
Struthio molybdophanes
Synonyms

Struthio camelus molybdophanes
(Reichenow, 1883)

Taxonomy and systematics

Molecular evidence indicates that the East African Rift has served as a geographic barrier to isolate the taxon from the nominate subspecies, the North African ostrich S. c. camelus, while ecological and behavioural differences have kept it genetically distinct from the neighbouring Masai ostrich S. c. massaicus.[3] An examination of the mitochondrial DNA of Struthio taxa, including the extinct Arabian ostrich S. c. syriacus, has found that the Somali ostrich is phylogenetically the most distinct, appearing to have diverged from their common ancestor some 3.6 to 4.1 million years ago.[3][4]

Description

Though generally similar to other ostriches, the skin of the neck and thighs of the Somali ostrich is grey-blue (rather than pinkish), becoming bright blue on the male during the mating season. The neck lacks a typical broad white ring, and the tail feathers are white. The females are slightly larger than the males and browner in plumage than other female ostriches.[5][6] The Somali ostrich is similar in size to other ostrich so far as is known, perhaps averaging marginally smaller in body mass than some subspecies of common ostrich (at least the nominate race, S. c. camelus). Reportedly Somali ostriches in captivity weigh about 105 kg (231 lb) but this may not be an accurate weight for wild birds as captive animals have feeding accesses not available to wild ostriches.[7] It is thus one of the two largest extant bird species.

Distribution and habitat

The Somali ostrich is mostly found in Horn of Africa, especially in north-eastern Ethiopia and across all of Somalia, its range corresponding roughly to the area known as the Horn of Africa.[5]

Behaviour and ecology

The Somali ostrich is differentiated ecologically from the common ostrich, with which there is some range overlap, by preferring bushier, more thickly vegetated areas, where it feeds largely by browsing, whereas the latter is mainly a grazer on open savanna. There are also reports of interbreeding difficulties between the two taxa.[3]

Status and conservation

A report to the IUCN in 2006 suggests that the Somali ostrich was common in the central and southern regions of Somalia in the 1970s and 1980s. However, following the political disintegration of that country and the lack of any effective wildlife conservation, its range and numbers there have since been shrinking as a result of uncontrolled hunting for meat, medicinal products and eggs, with the bird facing eradication in the Horn of Africa.[8] In Kenya it is farmed for meat, feathers and eggs.

References

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2014). "Struthio molybdophanes". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  2. ^ Redman, N.; Stevenson, T.; Fanshawe, J. (2016). Birds of the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and Socotra - Revised and Expanded Edition. Princeton Field Guides. Princeton University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-691-17289-7. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  3. ^ a b c Freitag, Stephanie & Robinson, Terence J. (1993). "Phylogeographic patterns in mitochondrial DNA of the Ostrich (Struthio camelus)" (PDF). The Auk. 110 (3): 614–622. doi:10.2307/4088425.
  4. ^ Robinson, Terence J. & Matthee, Conrad A. (1999). "Molecular genetic relationships of the extinct ostrich, Struthio camelus syriacus: consequences for ostrich introductions into Saudi Arabia". Animal Conservation. 2 (3): 165–171. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1795.1999.tb00062.x.
  5. ^ a b Shanawany, M.M. & Dingle, John (1999). Ostrich production systems, Part 1. Food and Agriculture Organisation. p. 12. ISBN 978-92-5-104300-4.
  6. ^ Roots, Clive (2006). Flightless birds. Greenwood Press. p. 26. ISBN 0-313-33545-1.
  7. ^ Davids, A. H. (2011). Estimation of genetic distances and heterosis in three ostrich (Struthio camelus) breeds for the improvement of productivity (Doctoral dissertation, Stellenbosch: University of Stellenbosch).
  8. ^ Amir, Osman G. (2006). Wildlife trade in Somalia (PDF). World Conservation Union – Species Survival Commission. p. 12.
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo

The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is a 100-acre (40 ha) zoo and wildlife preserve (25 acres (10 ha) are accessible to the public) located on Maryland Route 806 in Thurmont, Maryland, United States.

The zoo features safari truck rides that let visitors touch and feed large herbivores in a wooded setting.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a non-profit zoo located near Powell in Liberty Township, Delaware County, Ohio, United States, north of the city of Columbus. The land lies along the eastern banks of the O'Shaughnessy Reservoir on the Scioto River, at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Powell Road. It has a worldwide reputation, largely attributable to the efforts and promotion of director emeritus Jack Hanna. In 2009, it was named by the USA Travel Guide as the number one zoo in the United States. It was also ranked number one best zoo in 2012 by Besties Readers Choice.The Columbus Zoo is home to more than 7,000 animals representing over 800 species and sees over 2.3 million visitors annually. The animal exhibits are divided into regions of the world, with the zoo currently operating eight such regions. In addition the zoo owns an 18-hole golf course, known as the Safari Golf Club which encompasses 56.656 hectares (140 acres). The zoo also owns Zoombezi Bay which encompasses 9.187 hectares (22.70 acres) and Jungle Jack's Landing which encompasses 4.452 hectares (11 acres). In total, the zoo owns 234 hectares (580 acres) of land, with 164.424 hectares (406.30 acres) dedicated to the zoo itself.

The zoo operates its own conservation program, donating money to outside programs as well as participating in their own conservation efforts. Over the past five years the zoo has contributed over $3.3 million to more than 70 projects in 30 countries. The zoo also has a close working relationship with the Wilds, a 9,154-acre (37.04 km2) animal conservation center located in southeast Ohio and is featured on the Columbus Zoo's website.

Common ostrich

The common ostrich (Struthio camelus), or simply ostrich, is a species of large flightless bird native to Africa. It is one of two extant species of ostriches, the only living members of the genus Struthio in the ratite order of birds. The other is the Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes), which was recognized as a distinct species by BirdLife International in 2014 having been previously considered a very distinctive subspecies of ostrich.The common ostrich shares the order Struthioniformes with the kiwis, emus, rheas, and cassowaries. However, phylogenetic studies have shown that it is the sister group to all other members of Palaeognathae and thus the flighted tinamous are the sister group to the extinct moa. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run for a long time at a speed of 55 km/h (34 mph) or even up to about 70 km/h (43 mph), the fastest land speed of any bird. The common ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest eggs of any living bird (extinct elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand laid larger eggs).

The common ostrich's diet consists mainly of plant matter, though it also eats invertebrates. It lives in nomadic groups of 5 to 50 birds. When threatened, the ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick of its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females.

The common ostrich is farmed around the world, particularly for its feathers, which are decorative and are also used as feather dusters. Its skin is used for leather products and its meat is marketed commercially, with its leanness a common marketing point.

Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo is located about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the Detroit city limits at the intersection of Woodward Avenue, 10 Mile Road, and Interstate 696 in Royal Oak and Huntington Woods, Michigan, United States. The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS), a non-profit organization, operates both the Detroit Zoo and the Belle Isle Nature Center, located in the city of Detroit. The Detroit Zoo is one of Michigan's largest family attractions, hosting more than 1.5 million visitors annually. Situated on 125 acres of naturalistic exhibits, it provides a natural habitat for more than 2,000 animals representing 245 species. The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in the United States to use barless exhibits extensively.

Flightless bird

Flightless birds are birds that through evolution lost the ability to fly. There are over 60 extant species including the well known ratites (ostrich, emu, cassowary, rhea and kiwi) and penguins. The smallest flightless bird is the Inaccessible Island rail (length 12.5 cm, weight 34.7 g). The largest (both heaviest and tallest) flightless bird, which is also the largest living bird, is the ostrich (2.7 m, 156 kg). Ostriches are farmed for their decorative feathers, meat and their skins, which are used to make leather.

Many domesticated birds, such as the domestic chicken and domestic duck, have lost the ability to fly for extended periods, although their ancestral species, the red junglefowl and mallard, respectively, are capable of extended flight. A few particularly bred birds, such as the Broad Breasted White turkey, have become totally flightless as a result of selective breeding; the birds were bred to grow massive breast meat that weighs too much for the bird's wings to support in flight.

Flightlessness has evolved in many different birds independently. There were also other families of flightless birds, such as the now extinct Phorusrhacidae, that evolved to be powerful terrestrial predators. Taking this to a greater extreme, the terror birds (and their relatives the bathornithids), eogruids, geranoidids, gastornithiforms, and dromornithids (all extinct) all evolved similar body shapes – long legs, long necks and big heads – but none of them were closely related. Furthermore, they also share traits of being giant, flightless birds with vestigial wings, long legs, and long necks with some of the ratites, although they are not related.

Largest organisms

The largest organisms now found on Earth can be determined according to various aspects of an organism's size, such as: mass, volume, area, length, height, or even genome size. Some organisms group together to form a superorganism (such as ants or bees), but such are not classed as single large organisms. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest structure composed of living entities, stretching 2,000 km (1,200 mi), but contains many organisms of many types of species.

This article lists the largest species for various types of organisms, and mostly considers extant species. The organism sizes listed are frequently considered "outsized" and are not in the normal size range for the respective group.

If considered singular entities, the largest organisms are clonal colonies which can spread over large areas. Pando, a clonal colony of the quaking aspen tree, is widely considered to be the largest such organism by mass. Even if such colonies are excluded, trees retain their dominance of this listing, with the giant sequoia being the most massive tree. In 2006 a huge clonal colony of Posidonia oceanica was discovered south of the island of Ibiza. At 8 kilometres (5 mi) across, and estimated at around 100,000 years old, it may be one of the largest and oldest clonal colonies on Earth.Among animals, the largest species are all marine mammals, specifically whales. The blue whale is believed to be the largest animal to have ever lived. The largest land animal classification is also dominated by mammals, with the African bush elephant being the most massive of these.

List of birds of Ethiopia

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Ethiopia. The avifauna of Ethiopia include a total of 864 confirmed species as of June 2018. Of them, 25 are accidental, 17 are endemic, and one has been introduced by humans. An additional 16 species are hypothetical as defined below. Unless otherwise noted, the list is that of iGoTerra.This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags highlight several categories of occurrence other than regular migrants and residents.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Ethiopia (also called a vagrant)

(E) Endemic - a species endemic to Ethiopia

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Ethiopia as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

(H) Hypothetical - a species possibly present but which has not been documented.

List of domesticated animals

This page gives a list of domestic animals, also including a list of animals which are or may be currently undergoing the process of domestication and animals that have an extensive relationship with humans beyond simple predation. This includes species which are semi-domesticated, undomesticated but captive-bred on a commercial scale, or commonly wild-caught, at least occasionally captive-bred, and tameable. In order to be considered fully domesticated, most species have undergone significant genetic, behavioural and/or morphological changes from their wild ancestors; while others have been changed very little from their wild ancestors despite hundreds or thousands of years of potential selective breeding. A number of factors determine how quickly any changes may occur in a species, however, there isn't always a desire to improve a species from its wild form. Domestication is a gradual process, i.e., there is no precise moment in the history of a given species when it can be considered to have become fully domesticated.

Archaeozoology has identified three classes of animal domesticates: (1) commensals, adapted to a human niche (e.g., dogs, cats, guinea pigs); (2) prey animals sought for food (e.g., cows, sheep, pig, goats); and (3) targeted animals for draft and nonfood resources (e.g., horse, camel, donkey).To sort the tables chronologically by date of domestication, refresh your browser window, as clicking the Date column heading will mix AD and BC dates.

List of largest birds

The largest living bird, a member of the Struthioniformes, is the ostrich (Struthio camelus), from the plains of Africa and Arabia. A large male ostrich can reach a height of 2.8 metres (9.2 feet) and weigh over 156 kilograms (344 pounds). A mass of 200 kg (440 lb) has been cited for the ostrich but no wild ostriches of this massive weight have been verified. Eggs laid by the ostrich can weigh 1.4 kg (3.1 lb) and are the largest eggs in the world today.

The largest living bird by wingspan is the Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) of the sub-Antarctic oceans. The maximum dimensions in this species are a length of 1.44 m (4.7 ft) and a wingspan of 3.65 m (12.0 ft).

List of paleognath species

The paleognaths (Palaeognathae) are a clade of bird species of gondwanic distribution in Africa, South America, New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. The group have more than 50 living species and includes the ostriches, rheas, kiwis, emus, cassowaries and tinamous. They are, with Neognathae, the two main lineages of modern birds (Neornithes). Extinct species assignment follows the Mikko's Phylogeny Archive, Paleofile.com website and Brodkob.

Nemegtomaia

Nemegtomaia is a genus of oviraptorid dinosaur from what is now Mongolia that lived in the Late Cretaceous Period, about 70 million years ago. The first specimen was found in 1996, and became the basis of the new genus and species N. barsboldi in 2004. The original genus name was Nemegtia, but this was changed to Nemegtomaia in 2005, as the former name was preoccupied. The first part of the generic name refers to the Nemegt Basin, where the animal was found, and the second part means "good mother", in reference to the fact that oviraptorids are known to have brooded their eggs. The specific name honours the palaeontologist Rinchen Barsbold. Two more specimens were found in 2007, one of which was found on top of a nest with eggs, but the dinosaur had received its genus name before it was found associated with eggs.

Nemegtomaia is estimated to have been around 2 m (7 ft) in length, and to have weighed 40 kg (85 lb). As an oviraptorosaur, it would have been feathered. It had a deep, narrow, and short skull, with an arched crest. It was toothless, had a short snout with a parrot-like beak, and a pair of tooth-like projections on its palate. It had three fingers; the first was largest and bore a strong claw. Nemegtomaia is classified as a member of the oviraptorid subfamily Ingeniinae, and it the only known member of this group with a cranial crest. Though Nemegtomaia has been used to suggest that oviraptorosaurs were flightless birds, the clade is generally considered a group of non-avian dinosaurs.

The nesting Nemegtomaia specimen was placed on top of what was probably a ring of eggs, with its arms folded across them. None of the eggs are complete, but they are estimated to have been 5 to 6 cm (2 to 2.3 in) wide and 14 to 16 cm (5 to 6 in) long when intact. The specimen was found in a stratigraphic area that indicates Nemegtomaia preferred nesting near streams that would provide soft, sandy substrate and food. Nemegtomaia may have protected its eggs by covering them with its tail and wing feathers. The skeleton of the nesting specimen has damage that indicates it was scavenged by skin beetles. The diet of oviraptorids is uncertain, but their skulls are most similar to other animals that are known or thought to have been herbivorous. Nemegtomaia is known from the Nemegt and Baruungoyot Formations, which are thought to represent humid and arid environments that coexisted in the same area,

Northern cassowary

The northern cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) also known as the one-wattled cassowary, single-wattled cassowary, or golden-necked cassowary, is a large, stocky flightless bird of northern New Guinea. They are members of the superorder Paleognathae. (See also dwarf cassowary and southern cassowary.)

Ostrich

The ostriches are a family, Struthionidae, of flightless birds. Ostriches first appeared during the Miocene epoch, though various Paleocene, Eocene and Oligocene fossils may also belong to the family. Ostriches are classified in the ratite group of birds, all extant species of which are flightless, including the kiwis, emus, and rheas. Traditionally the order Struthioniformes contained all the ratites. However, recent genetic analysis has found that the group is not monophyletic, as it is paraphyletic with respect to the tinamous, so the ostriches are classified as the only members of the order. There are two extant species of ostrich, the common ostrich and Somali ostrich, both in the genus Struthio, which also contains several species known from Holocene fossils such as the Asian ostrich. The common ostrich is the largest living bird species, and other ostriches are among the largest bird species ever.

Shaba National Reserve

Shaba National Reserve is a protected area in northern Kenya to the east of the Samburu and Buffalo Springs national reserves. Together, the three reserves form a large protected area.The Shaba reserve has dramatic scenery including river-side forests, scattered woodlands and dry grasslands dominated by the Shaba Hill volcano. The plentiful wildlife relies on waterholes and marshes scattered throughout the reserve. Shaba is home to the endangered Grevy's zebra and the rare Williams's lark. Shaba was the setting for the book and film Born Free, for the film Out of Africa and for the reality show Survivor: Africa.

The reserve is a popular destination for tourists. There is some risk that excess numbers of visitors and growth of the local population around the reserve may place stress on the environment.

Sir Bani Yas

Ṣīr Banī Yās (Arabic: صِـيـر بَـنِى يَـاس‎) is a natural island located 170 km (110 mi) southwest of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It lies 9 km (5.6 mi) offshore from Jebel Dhanna, which serves as a crossing point to other islands such as Dalma (island). Sir Bani Yas is 17.5 km (10.9 mi) from north to south and 9 km (5.6 mi) from east to west, making it the largest natural island in the United Arab Emirates. Located just off the shore of the western region of Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas was originally home to Arabia's largest wildlife reserve. Spanning over 87 km2 (34 sq mi), the reserve was established in 1977 by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Thanks to decades of conservation work and ecological investment, it is now home to thousands of large free-roaming animals and several million trees and plants. A bird sanctuary as well as a wildlife reserve, Sir Bani Yas showcases nature through activities such as adventure safaris, kayaking, mountain biking, archery, hiking and snorkeling.

Struthio

Struthio is a genus of bird in the order Struthioniformes. There are two living species, the common ostrich and the Somali ostrich.

Tallest extant birds

This is a list of the tallest extant birds according to maximum height. Birds range from a tiny bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae), which is only 5–6 cm, to the giant African ostrich (Struthio camelus), almost 280 cm in height.

Wildlife of Jordan

The wildlife of Jordan includes its flora and fauna and their natural habitats. Although much of the country is desert, it has several geographic regions, each with a diversity of plants and animals adapted to their own particular habitats. Fossil finds show that in Palaeolithic times, the region had Syrian brown bears, Asiatic lions, zebras, Asian elephants, and rhinoceroses, but these species are all now extinct in this region.More recently, in the twentieth century, the Arabian oryx became locally extinct through hunting, and several species of deer and gazelle were reduced to remnant populations. The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature was established in 1966 to preserve Jordan's natural resources, a number of protected areas have been set up, and conservation measures and captive breeding programs have been put in place, resulting in an increase in the numbers of these animals. Many other mammals are found in Jordan, over four hundred species of bird visit or live in the country and over two thousand plant species have been recorded here.

Wildlife of Somalia

The wildlife of Somalia includes the flora and fauna of Somalia, which is extremely diverse due to the country's location between the temperate and the tropical zones. Somalia has a long coastline, bordered by the Indian Ocean in the east and Red Sea in the north. The Northeastern and Central parts of the country are arid, or very dry. The Southern and Northeastern regions are semi-arid, receiving slightly more rainfall than the Central and Northwest regions. The Coastal region is more humid due to its proximity to the ocean. Somalia is home to over 727 species of birds and boasts over 177 species of mammals.

The Nile crocodile, the largest crocodilian found in Africa, is very common in southern Somalia. Somalia is home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna, from acacia trees, to birds, large cats, and reptiles large and small.

In some areas, the mountains are covered with shrubs such as pyracantha, jasmine, poinsettia, and a varied assortment of evergreens. Caraway, carcade, cardamom, coriander, incense, myrrh, and red pepper are common.

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