Profile shot of an ostrich


Ostriches don't need to drink - they can make their own water internally and top up with what they can extract from vegetation. During the 18th century, it became fashionable to wear feathers and ostriches were hunted almost to extinction to satisfy demand for their large plumes. Once it was discovered that they could be farmed successfully, in 1833, the pressure on wild ostrich populations was lifted.

Did you know?
The eye of an ostrich is almost 5cm across, the largest eye of any land animal.

Scientific name: Struthio camelus

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Ostrich taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Ostrich can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Ostrich distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Ostriches and rheas
  6. Struthionidae
  7. Struthio
  8. Ostrich

BBC News about Ostrich

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