Casuarius – Cassowaries

Fruit-eating, bad-tempered birds occupying rainforests and the savannas of Australia and New Guinea

Cassowaries are inhabitants of the Papuan subregion, nearby islands, and Australia, with three extant species. The evolutionary history is not well known.

Cassowaries are very robust birds with their body covered in dark hair-like feathers; nestlings are stripped. Head and neck bare with bright colors. Bills are short & curved. Heads are ornamented with helmets of various shapes. Wings are rudimentary. Legs are strong with three toes. The inner toe is a deadly weapon with a pointed claw. Unlike other Ratites, they are denizens of forests inhabiting deserts and steppes.

They are frugivores and play an important role in seed dispersion. They also eat small animals and insects. They use snorting calls, not loud ones.