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emu

emu or emeu (both: ēˈmyō) [key], common name for a large, flightless bird of Australia, related to the cassowary and the ostrich. There is only one living species, Dromaius novaehollandiae. It is 5 to 6 ft (150–180 cm) tall and a very swift runner. The head and neck are feathered. The six or seven dark green eggs, laid in a sandy pit, are sometimes incubated by the male and require 56 days to hatch. The emu is easily tamed. Emus are raised for meat and eggs, leather, and oil, which is rendered from their fat. The emu is classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Struthioniformes, family Dromaiidae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Vertebrate Zoology


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