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Doug J | all galleries >> Birds, Birds, Birds >> Non-passeriformes Gallery > Northern Cassowary
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Northern Cassowary

Northern Cassowary

Scientific name: Casuarius unappendiculatus
Order: Struthioniformes

Also called Single-wattled Cassowary or Gold(en)-neck(ed) Cassowary

The Cassowary is a moderately sized member of the ratite family, which also includes ostriches and emus. They are very long lived, with an average lifespan of 61 years if not killed by predators or by destruction of their home. There are only about 1,500 to 3,000 Cassowaries remaining in the world.

Making its home primarily in the rainforest of Northern Queensland, Australia, members of the three species of Cassowaries can also be found in New Guinea and other surrounding islands. In the wild, the Cassowary prefers the banks of streams to other types of terrain. Unfortunately, much of the rainforest in which the Cassowary makes it home is being cleared. Cassowaries are also threatened by dogs and human predation.

The Cassowary feed primarily on fleshy fruit, which they pick from the ground. As the Cassowary digests the seeds of the fruit unharmed, they are an important means of seeding the rainforest. When fruit is scarce, Cassowaries can eat small, dead marsupials and birds. The Cassowary is a very speedy animal. They are capable of running at speeds up to 30 miles per hour, even in dense forest undergrowth.

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Alan 29-Oct-2008 04:59
I think you have a photo of Casuarius unipendunculatus or singled wattled Cassowary / Nortern Cassowary not the Double Wattled or Southern Cassowary.