In addition to plumage, their legs are also a major point of difference. The emu has strong, three-toed legs, which allow it to run at speeds of around 30 mph. The ostrich has stronger legs in comparison – these are two-toed, and allow the bird to run at speeds of up to 40 mph.
During the mating season, emu birds form pairs, and stay together for a period of five months. However, once the female has laid the eggs, they become the sole responsibility of the male, who is in charge of the incubation, and the raising of the chicks. On the other hand, ostriches tend to form groups during mating season, with one male taking over six to seven females. The males and females then take turns with the incubation, with the females managing it during the day, and the males managing it at night.
In addition to being valued alive, both birds are extensively farmed for a number of valuable products that they provide. Both birds are farmed for their meat and leather, but emus are also farmed for their oil (made from emu fat), while ostriches are extensively farmed for their feathers.
The emu, also known by its scientific name Dromaius novaehollandiae, is the sole extant member of the genus Dromaius, and the largest bird that is native to Australia. Emus tend to live on most of mainland Australia, but avoid thickly populated areas and particularly dense forests. Characterised by soft brown plumage, the emu is a flightless bird, and can grow up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. They eat a variety of plants and insects, and also ingest shards of glass and metal to grind the food up in their digestive systems. They have extremely strong clawed legs, sharp eyesight and hearing, and are known to be particularly curious birds.
A native of Africa, and known by its scientific name Struthio camelus, the ostrich is the largest bird in the world, and lays the largest eggs of any living bird. With a long neck, and incredibly long and strong legs, the ostrich can run the fastest out of any land bird. The diet of the ostrich generally consists of plants, although it will also consume invertebrates. Ostriches live in nomadic groups of 5 to 50, and when threatened, tend to hide or run away. However, when driven to attack, ostriches can use their powerful legs as an effective weapon.