Dwarf cassowary

The dwarf ratite from the mountain forests

This family’s smallest member is found throughout mountain forests of New Guinea, Yapen Island, New Britain (introduced), and occasionally lowland forests of NE-SE New Guinea.

Adults are black with a low-rounded helmet on the head, while young people are brown. They forage forest floors for fallen fruits and are generally solitary. They communicate with low-frequency booming calls. Their breeding cycle is yet not well studied, but like all other cassowaries, the daddy bird takes care of the nest, eggs, and babies.

There is no quantitative population estimation, but they are rare or absent in many range areas because of hunting pressure and may even result in extinction.


Population est.
Papua New Guinea

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No