Ostrich legs

The ostrich roams the great Sahara.
Its mouth is wide, its neck is narra.
It has such long and lofty legs,
I’m glad it sits to lay its eggs.

By Ogden Nash

I ended last time with a story of how the oryx got its horns and its black-and-white markings …. and as the story goes, they won them off the ostrich in a bet…. https://www.flickr.com/groups/715897@N22/discuss/72157604112895106/72157604357025025

Here is a male Somali Ostrich, and you can see how an antelope might covet that coat:

Somali Ostrich

The drab female is presumably what you get when the oryx has run off with the ostrich’s finery.

Somali Ostrich, female

The ostrich never did have horns,  although they might distract attention from his balding pate:

Somali Ostrich

These ostriches are Somali Ostriches, Struthio molybdophanes, found only in the Horn of Africa. They browse on bushes, whereas the common ostrich prefers to graze on grass. They also differ from the common ostrich in having blueish (instead of pinkish) skin on their neck and thighs: this one would win a knobbly knees contest* hands down.


* English seaside towns in the 1950’s loved such contests, for those of you too young to remember, or on the other side of the Atlantic.


And anyway Dennis Smith rightly points out that the ostrich’s knobby joints are the analogs of human ankles, not knees, as this picture shows:



3 thoughts on “Ostrich legs”

  1. Are they not actually elbows? The Supervet programmes I am addicted to always talk about the joints in the front legs of a dog as elbows.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: