Cassowary

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Casuarius casuarius
Southern Cassowary
Casuarius unappendiculatus
Northern Cassowary
Casuarius bennetti
Dwarf Cassowary
Casuarius lydekki[1]

The cassowary (genus Casuarius) is a very large flightless bird native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, nearby islands and northeastern Australia.[2]

The Southern Cassowary is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu.

Cassowaries feed mainly on fruits, though all species are truly omnivorous and will take a range of other plant food including shoots, grass seeds, and fungi in addition to invertebrates and small vertebrates.

Cassowaries are very shy, but when disturbed, they are capable of inflicting serious injuries to dogs and children.

Contents

Taxonomy and evolution

Cassowaries (from the Malay name kesuari)[3] are part of the ratite group, which also includes the Emu, rheas, ostriches, and kiwis, and the extinct moas and elephant birds. There are three extant species recognized today and one extinct:

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