Can Ostriches Walk Backward?

It is believed and even observed several times that a few powerful animals and some large flightless ostrich like birds can not walk backward. They have been noticed sprinting forward and turning around to go back in the need of hours.

Humans have been blessed with the ability to walk backward and we all agree it is no less than a blessing sometimes. If we take it as a blessing, the animals and the big flightless birds have been deprived of that.

The world’s largest bird, called the ostrich, is believed to be incapable of walking backward. Want to know if it’s a reality or just a myth?

Can Ostriches “Really” Walk Backward?

Yes, this world’s largest and the heaviest flightless bird is incapable of walking backward. If they were able to walk back, the ostriches would have been taking steps back seeing a predator.

The habit of turning back to run away, makes us believe that ostriches can not walk backward.

Some birds can walk backward but Ostriches just do not

Let alone walking we have witnessed some birds running backward flawlessly. Hummingbirds are the perfect example of that.

Some other birds can also walk backward but they can never compete with hummingbirds in the race.

Ostriches do not even move back slowly

Some animals happen to walk or run forward and can move backward slowly as well. Unfortunately, Ostriches can not even move backward slowly. This flightless bird can only run forward.

Most of the bird enthusiasts believe ostriches can walk backward, it’s emus that can’t

Surprisingly, there is a countable number of bird enthusiasts out there who think ostriches can walk backward but emus can’t.

It’s hard to believe for a variety of reasons. One of them is that emus and ostriches are more or less of the same size, they look breathtakingly similar as well. So, how can one of the two be capable of walking backward and the other one not?

Everyone who believes that ostrich can walk backward has got no proof to support the idea. All those videos on YouTube where Ostriches are running backward flawlessly are fake. Do not fall into these Youtubers’ trap.

Related How Much Does An Ostrich Cost?

Why do Ostriches Can not Walk Backward?

We all are tired of debating whether ostriches can or can not walk backward, it’s the need of the hour to know the cause.

Unfortunately, researchers have not given any legitimate statement why Ostriches can not walk backward.

However, most of us believe that Ostriches can not walk backward probably because of the presence of calf muscle and the knee joint.

It must be communicated that this is also a rough idea. No study has been conducted to confirm whether the calf muscle and knee joints are “actually” the reason why Ostriches can not walk backward.

Ostriches might be incapable of walking backward for one more legitimate reason;
Calf muscle or knee joint can be a cause of this incapability.

If it’s not, laziness might be coming in the way why Ostriches can not walk backward. Practice makes a man perfect, this saying is valid for these flightless birds as well.

Ostriches might not know how to walk backward probably because they have never tried it.

Since nothing is unachievable in this world, if they had been practicing quite often the Ostriches would have been walking backward as well.

Their closely related flightless bird emu can also not walk backward

Ostriches and Emus, the most widely distributed flightless birds, both can only sprint forward.

In fact, these flightless birds are powerful runners, they just can not walk or run backward for probably the same reason.

Since no legitimate proof has been given, it’s not appropriate to say these birds can not walk backward because of the calf muscle or knee joint.

Not being blessed with the ability to walk backward is not hurting the bird in any way
Since this incapability is not hurting the bird in any way, so it’s fine.

As long as the birds can run fast and defend themselves well, there is no need to learn to walk backward.

What Would have Happened if Ostriches Could Walk Backward?

Even as powerful birds, ostriches have predators as well. Walking backward would have helped Ostriches in surviving better. They would have been able to keep a closer eye on the predators in times of danger.

Lastly, let’s just hope we all get a legitimate answer why Ostriches can not walk backward
Unfortunately, there is no solid proof that the reasons presented above are 100% true.

No research has been conducted in this regard or even if the research has been conducted, we have failed to conclude. So, let’s just hope we find a legitimate answer soon.

In brief, no Ostriches can not walk backward, they can only sprint forward. Having calf muscle, knee joint, and lack of practice are the few reasons experts have got. How true is that, is yet to be found out.

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  • Hi, I am Talon Juper, a passionate farmer, and Livestock Expert. I have done my graduation in Agriculture and Animal breeding. Relevant to Farm Desire as a research writer and data recorder.

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