As with my Gopher versus Groundhog post, I would like to clarify that I do not endorse underground emu/ostrich fighting rings.
I was at the Prospect Park zoo in Brooklyn, and there was some funny-lookin’ bird looking at me. I wasn’t sure it was an emu or an ostrich, so I did some research.
The verdict: due to its blue head, I declare it an emu.
Emus are native to Australia. Ostriches are native to Africa. Ostriches are larger, up to 2.75 meters tall and up to 340 pounds. By contrasts, emus are about 2 meters tall and 120 pounds. Ostriches are the fastest running bird with top land speeds of 60.6 mph. Emus can run half that speed. Ostriches have two toes; emus have three.
Emus are darker in general, with dark brown, gray, and fine black feathers. During mating season, the skin on both male and female emu necks will turn blue. Ostriches have a thicker plumage with white heads. With emus the female attracts the male, but with ostriches the male pursues the female.
Who would win in a fight? Probably the ostrich.
Here’s a video of two ostriches fighting in the wild: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0HkAIyZRn8
Here is a video of an emu being creepy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO8u1hSmuWc
But the emus got one cool thing over the ostriches. This is an emu egg:
It’s all green and oblong and cool-looking! Ostrich eggs just look like giant chicken eggs, but this thing looks like fell out of a dinosaur. All around, I’d say the emu gets points for being weirder.