Last updated on May 16th, 2023
41. Ostrich leather is a high-demand luxury item because of its aesthetic features. It requires an expensive production process with 30 stages of precise treatments to avoid damage, prevent mold, and provide color.
42. In the late 1800s, spacious horse carriages made it fashionable for people to wear dramatic hats. Grandiose ostrich feathers were perfect for adding flair. However, the advent of the automobile gradually made large hats impractical.
43. Commercial farms supply ostrich meat to various markets. These began in South Africa in the 19th century and became widespread in the 1970s because of increasing demand. It is low in fat and cholesterol yet high in protein, iron, and calcium.
44. Many ostrich farms cater to tourists to generate more income. They offer farmland tours and souvenirs to visitors. Some let people try ostrich rides, but the weight limit makes the activity better suited to children and young adults.
45. Ancient Romans flocked to their amphitheaters for entertainment. Some shows were venatio games, in which gladiators would hunt wild beasts like lions and panthers. They also featured exotic animals like ostriches. Some performed tricks instead of fighting.
46. The Egyptian queen Arsinoe II has a statue that depicts her riding an ostrich. It was a common practice to race and hunt using the speedy bird since it was strong enough to carry a human. They can also pull small chariots.
47. Ostrich racing is a common practice in Africa where the bird gets the same treatment as a horse. Owners equip it with saddles, reins, and bits. It is more difficult to control ostriches than horses, with jockeys often falling off.
48. Modern races called ostrich derbies are common in South Africa, particularly in the Oudtshoorn region. The semi-desert conditions favor the bird, resulting in large populations in and out of farms.
49. In 1892, the Ostrich Farm opened in Florida to attract tourists. It became a famous early destination in the state, selling feathered souvenirs and allowing visitors to ride ostrich-drawn carts. It also hosted ostrich races which drew big crowds.
50. The city of Chandler in Arizona holds an annual Ostrich Festival. It remembers the early bird ranching history of the pioneers. Events include duck, pig, and ostrich races. The states of Nevada, Iowa, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Minnesota have similar competitions.
Quick facts – Ostriches
|Scientific name||Struthio camelus|
|IUCN status||Least concern|
|Weight||up to 150 kg|
|Habitat||Grassland, savannah and open woodland|
|Average life span||30-40 years in the wild|