They have heavy, coarse feathers.
The cassowary has three toes. The inside toe has a large claw that
is used to defend itself. On top of the
cassowary's head is a large keel shaped helmet.
Cassowaries can be found in the
far North Queensland rainforest region. Clearing of tropical
rainforests have divided the Southern Cassowary population into
several small fragile remnants. They are now a protected
species. It is believed that there are only 1500 remaining.
The mating season is May/June to
Cassowaries will protect their
nest at any cost. The male incubates the eggs of which 3 - 6
have been laid. Each egg weighs about 600g and take about two
months to hatch. Their eggs are the third largest of all birds.
Chicks are born with brown feather and gain their dark blue and
purple feathers after about 36 months.
The cassowary's keel - shaped
head and amazing speed allows them to chase down prey in the dense
Cassowaries usually eat and berries fruits
but have been known to hunt small reptiles and mammals.
They are the sole disperser of the larger rainforest
As they travel through the
rainforest , there droppings contain the seeds of the fruit
they eat, thus sprouting more plants.
Stay well clear of this
animal. If you happen to encounter a Cassowary do not run
from it, face the bird and just back away slowly slowly and hide
behind a tree or bush.
Cassowaries are easily provoked and
have very powerful legs that they use to kick with. By jumping feet first
the sharp claws on its inner
toes can easily rip flesh. Humans have been killed by