Ever needed to hear about mad dad birds with enormous feet? Try THESE on for size:
What’s that you say? These are clearly the feet of a dinosaur, not a bird? WHY NOT BOTH?
This is Australia’s very own dinosaur, the second-largest bird in the world, the emu. Say hi!
They roam around Australia making ‘wonk-wonk’ noises under their breath and glaring at everything. And the dads take care of the babies! They sit on the eggs…
They look after the tiny stripey adorable things….
They look after the less tiny less adorable things…
And they even look after the great big menacing things that are almost as big as they are.
But here’s the catch. All emus look pretty much alike. Especially when you are a tiny stripey adorable thing. All you can see of your dad is is great big dinosaur feet (see picture #1). So there is one very unrealistic thing about all the adorable terrifying dinosaur family photos above:
I have never seen an emu family in the wild where all the babies are the same size.
Here is the reason!
Emu dad and his emu babies are roaming about wonking and glaring at everyone. Suddenly emu dad sees another emu dad! A threat!
Emu dads do some display threats with dancing and bouncing and fluffing and… look, it’s very serious business, okay?
If this does not work to see off one emu they might progress to actual fighting.
Oops, sorry, you wanted the dignified version. Here, have some ART:
Either way, this encounter will end up with one or both adult emus zooming away as fast as he can run. This is very fast.
This is the other thing they do besides wonking and glaring, by the way. They run. Fear the running emu.
Anyway, this leaves all the tiny and medium-sized and semi-large stripey things milling around making confused tiny “cheep? wonk?” noises and basically just following whichever pair of large feet they can find.
And so mostly when you see a male emu with a gaggle of youngsters at heel, they are all different sizes. Who knows whose they are? Not him! But he’s going to look after them anyway.