If all birds have wings to fly what about emus, ostriches, kiwis, cassowaries, and rheas? Why have we never seen them flying away? Why do we not keep them in the typical birdcages when they have wings? All these and a million other similar questions come to our minds whenever we see these birds walking on the ground or being caged in a roof-less cage.
In this article, we would be discussing “can emus fly?”, If they can, why don’t they fly? and if they can not, what keeps them from flying away? in detail. But first, let’s discuss emus a little differently so we can understand the mystery easily.
Emu is the second largest brown soft feathered bird that belongs to the Casuariidae bird family. Though emus are large-sized birds, their wings are relatively puny as compared to their height and body structure. Other than the small, weak wings, Emus have strong, long, and powerful legs. They can run well, swim well but do they fly well? This question deserves a detailed discussion.
Now you see they have weaker wings but stronger legs, let’s get back to our subject of discussion and reveal what needs to be revealed here. Starting with the most Googled questions;
Can Emus fly?
No, not at all. Emus are, no doubt, termed as large-sized birds that can not fly. They can walk, run, and even swim but can not fly. Like ostriches, kiwis, cassowaries, and rheas they spend their entire life breathing and exploring the ground, not the sky.
Why can’t emus fly?
Well, these flightless birds can not fly for three valid reasons;
- Large size
- Puny wings
- Flat breastbone that lacks the keel
Emus can’t fly because they are the second-largest birds after the ostrich, they stand almost 5.7 feet tall and weigh around 50 to 55 kilograms. So, the weight and height make it impossible for them to fly.
Now comes the major reason “puny wings”. By puny we mean weak and small. Emus can’t fly because of their weak and small wings as well. Their weaker wings can not carry 50 to 55 kilograms and support flying.
Unlike all flying birds out there, emus are blessed with a flat breastbone that lacks the kneel. The kneels are responsible for anchoring the pectoral muscles required for flying. So, the kneel-less flat breastbone is another reason why we don’t see these beasts flying around in the sky. (Source)
Now that you have been informed that emus can’t fly, their size, weak wings, and kneel-less flat breastbone are the main reasons why they can not fly around like other birds. It’s time to step a little down in detail
Everything else you need to about this Flying of Emus
It’s not enough to say, No emus can’t fly for this, this, and this reasons. There is still a lot you need to know. As we are solely writing this article to enlighten our readers, it must contain all necessary information so that our readers can speak about it confidently as well.
Emus can walk, run, or even jump but can not fly
Emus can simply do anything that other birds do. They can walk, run, and jump but unfortunately like all big birds out there, they can not fly at all. That’s why you always see them walking, running, and exploring earth, not the sky.
Emus are normally referred to as “flightless birds”
Because of their inability to fly, they, like all other big birds, are normally referred to as “flightless birds”. If they had feelings or they could understand, they would probably get hurt as the human world can be sometimes cruel for birds and animals as well.
Emus are permanently grounded, nothing can help flying
Emus have been living on the ground since the beginning of time. They have never felt what flying feels like. All they do is walk, run, explore, and jump around. So, it’s fair to say they have been grounded since the beginning of time and nothing on earth can lift them up and help in flying.
Tweaks in DNA are also somewhat responsible for Emus being flightless
For a long time, we all kept believing that the size, puny wings, and kneel-less flat breastbone are all collectively responsible for the Emus inability to fly. Everything was going fine but now a recent study took the world by storm, as per the research tweaks in DNA should be blamed for the Emus inability to fly.
Emus use their puny wings for some other purpose
Puny wings are not just there without any purpose. If other birds use their wings for flying, Emus use them for a specific purpose as well. Yes, it’s not flying, they rather use them to stabilize their body while walking, running, and jumping.
It’s not just Emus, ostriches, kiwis, cassowaries, and rheas that can not fly, there are some other birds as well
As we usually get to see emus, kiwis, cassowaries, and rheas in the zoo, it’s fair to think that only these birds can not fly. The reality is quite different, there are several other big and small birds as well that have wings but can not fly. The other birds are;
- Penguins(yes penguins are categorized as large-sized birds)
- Steamer duck
Puny wings can stabilize walk but not flying
As we all know, emu’s wings are much smaller and weaker as compared to the size of their body. The weak wing can’t lift body weight, their wings can only stabilize walking, running, or jumping.
Emus are not afraid to let the wind blow through their feathers, they just can’t fly
Even though emus do not know the art of flying, they are not afraid of letting the wind blow through the feathers at all. They may not fly but they do spread their feathers quite often to feel the freedom. So yeah, if their wings were powerful enough to carry the weight, they would have been flying around like all birds.
Emus born walk-ready but not flight-ready
Unlike most birds and animals, baby emus can walk immediately after birth. They even start walking within a few minutes after birth to escape the Australian sun. Emus just can not fly away even at the earlier stages of their life when their weight is bearable. So, yes Emus can never be flight-ready.
Most big birds that can not fly have more or less the same reasons for being flightless
Not sure about the other birds as human knowledge is limited but ostriches, kiwis, cassowaries, and rheas can not fly for more or less the same reasons. The other big birds even if they do have other reasons, size is an issue for them as well.
Now that the worth-sharing information is served, let’s move ahead and see what people usually search for and what we have to say about it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far can emus fly?
It’s out of question emus are large-sized birds that can not fly at all. They can run, jump, or walk but not fly. It would be more appropriate to ask how far can emus run as they are flightless birds.
Which birds can not fly?
If we are supposed to answer this question in one or two words, big birds. Most big birds are flightless. The birds that can not fly are kiwis, ostriches, emus, cassowaries, rheas, and penguins, etc. All these above-mentioned birds can not fly for more or less the same reasons.
Can ostriches fly?
No, not at all. Ostriches are considered the largest bird. They can not fly at all. The kneel-less flat breastbone, Size, and puny wings make it hard not just for ostriches but emus, cassowaries, and kiwis, etc to fly like a normal bird.
Why do sparrows fly ostriches and emus don’t?
No doubt, sparrows, ostriches, and emus are categorized as “birds” but comparing these birds with Sparrows is pointless. Streamlined body aids sparrows in flying whereas ostriches and emus are breathtakingly heavier and taller than the Sparrows, it’s hard for such big birds to fly. Ostriches and emus can not fly because of their size, kneel-less flat breastbone, and puny wings.
How do ostriches and emus lose their ability to fly?
Emus and ostriches never have been blessed with the ability to fly in the first place. It’s not that a sudden event or medical condition took away their ability to fly, ostriches and emus have been grounded since the beginning of time. Their size, puny wings, and kneel-less flat breastbone make it impossible for them to fly around like all normal birds.
Can emus fly backward?
Emus can not ever fly forward how can they fly backward. In fact, no other bird other than a hummingbird can fly backward. Hummingbird’s wings are designed differently which allows them to fly forward and backward. The unique ball and socket joint at the shoulder allow these birds to rotate their wings backward as well.
Which birds have wings but can not fly?
All birds have wings but not all can use these wings to fly. If we are supposed to name all birds that have wings but can’t fly around like normal birds then these birds are kiwis, emus, cassowaries, and ostriches.
The appropriate answer to the question “can emus fly? Is no, emus can not fly at all. If emus could fly, they would have been flying around like normal birds. They are categorized as” flightless birds” because of their size, puny wings, and kneel-less flat breastbone. Besides emus, cassowaries, kiwis, and ostriches also can’t fly for the same reasons
The subject being discussed can run, walk, and even jump but can’t fly. Emus do have wings but they use these puny wings to stabilize themselves while walking and running. Emus do not have suddenly lost their ability to fly; they have been grounded since the beginning of time.
They have been letting the wind blow through their wings and they are not afraid of it, if they could fly they would have started flying from the minute they get to see the world. So yes, emus can’t fly and nothing on earth can not enforce flying.
Lastly, I hope you find this article helpful. It would be an honor if our writing helps you in any way.
- How some birds lost the ability to fly
- 8 Birds That Can’t Fly