Did You Know? (Cassowary Edition)

That the most dangerous bird on earth is the Southern Cassowary?

National Geographic Angry Birds by Mel White shows 50 birds that you don’t want to mess with. It talks about the cassowaries on page 144. While Cassowaries are the most dangerous bird, the Australian Magpie is rated the angriest bird, dive bombing anyone near their nests.

Birds are living dinosaurs. This is something that serious paleontologists now agree on. Birdology by Sy Montgomery explains this on page 49. He has a very informative chapter on cassowaries, with photos of their deadly feet and dagger sharp claws.

Other birds can appear to be very angry as well… here in the northwest there are crows that dive bomb people when they walk too close to their trees! The PBS documentary DVD A Murder of Crows: Birds with an Attitude and the book In the Company of Crows and Ravens by John M. Marzluff both describe this phenomenon and explain the behaviors.

Cassowaries live in New Guinea, northeast Australia and nearby Islands. While they are one of the 10 most dangerous birds on earth, there are other critters in these areas I wouldn’t want to mess with either. As cute as koala bears are, they can be quite vicious, and kangaroos can kick as badly as the cassowaries but without the deadly damage of the claws. The largest predators in Australia are the crocodiles that grow up to 20 feet long, and can pull a grown water buffalo from the banks and drown it!

While cassowary babies are chicks, I wouldn’t mess with them or with Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J Gomez. And you probably shouldn’t confuse them with the very talented musical group the Dixie Chicks either. You wouldn’t want to make those “chicks” angry!

Did you know?

A bumblebee flaps its wings 150 times per second?

I found this information in the book Why Don’t Jumbo Jets Flap Their Wings? by David E. Alexander. This excellent book provides clear explanations of all aspects of flight — be it birds, planes or insects!

Find more information, stunning photographs and an A to Z directory of hummingbirds in Hummingbirds by Ben Sonder.

To learn more about how birds fly check out How Do Birds Fly? by Melissa Stewart. There are some interesting pictures of birds’ lightweight bones and feathers that enable flight.

Birds: Nature’s magnificent flying machines by Caroline Arnold shows some excellent pictures of how wings flap, explains the aerodynamics of bird flight, and shows some pictures of other flying animals such as squirrels, snakes, fish, bats and frogs!