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Southern Cassowary

Casuarius casuarius


The southern cassowary is a large, flightless bird, closely related to the emu and the ostrich - all three are ratites. It is the third-tallest and second-heaviest living bird - smaller only than the ratites mentioned above. The southern cassowary is very rare and endangered - their population is less than 3000 and unfortunately that number is declining. The southern cassowary has a black plumage, a blue face and neck, red on the nape and two red wattles hanging down around its throat. A horn-like brown casque sits atop the head. The three-toed feet are thick and very strong, equipped with a lethal dagger-like claw on the inner toe. The southern cassowary is a very dangerous animal, easily capable of killing humans if provoked.


Tropical rainforests and mangroves of northeastern Australia (Far North Queensland), Indonesia and New Guinea. The southern cassowary mainly forages on the forest floor for fallen fruit, but also eats fungi and some insects.


This southern cassowary was spotted at the end of the Dubuji Boardwalk in Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Australia.

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QLD, Australia

Spotted on May 17, 2017
Submitted on Oct 1, 2017

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