While cassowaries have been known to eat fungi, flowers, snails, insects, frogs, birds, rats, mice, and even carrion, their diet consists primarily of fruit. They will eat the fruit of several hundred species of tree and bush, and one tree, the cassowary plum (which is toxic to other species but eaten readily by the cassowary), has even been named for the birds. Cassowaries can become extremely aggressive about their food; when they find a tree that is dropping fruit, they will stay there and eat, chasing away any other cassowaries who try to approach and feed, until the fruit is gone.
Cassowaries will swallow fruits whole, even large ones like apples and plums. Because of this, seeds and pits will go through the cassowary’s digestive system and be passed in their droppings. These birds have been known to distribute seeds over distances of over a kilometre, making them hugely important in the dispersal and germination of fruit trees through the rainforests. Some seeds, such as those of the Ryparosa trees, are shown to have much greater germination rates when they have been through the gut of a cassowary. These makes these birds a keystone species for the rainforests they inhabit.
Yesterday I was talking to a coworker about things that can kill you in Australia and he pointed out one that I hadn’t heard of. So he googled it and showed me a picture and I was like ‘oh it’s a bird’ and he goes 'IT IS A LIVING VELOCIRAPTOR.’
AND IT’S TRUE. LOOK AT ITS FEET.
ITS GOT THE CLAW AND EVERYTHING, JUST FLATTENED.
AND IT LIKE LAUNCHES ITSELF AT PEOPLE TO ATTACK THEM WITH IT’S CLAWS OF DEATH.
NATURE JUST CONTINUES TO THINK UP OF NEW WAYS TO KILL YOU. DO NOT GO TO OUTSIDE. NATURE KILLS.
After mating, the female cassowary will lay three to six large, green eggs. Once these eggs are laid, the female’s job is done, and she will wander off to find another male to mate with. It is the father who constructs a nest of waterproof vegetation and incubates the eggs for the next fifty days. A devoted parent, the male will not leave his eggs until they have hatched. A broody male cassowary does not need to eat, drink, or even defecate for the entire period of incubation.
Cassowary chicks are small, beige in colour, with dark brown stripes. The father will protect his new family with devotion, showing them what foods to eat and ferociously protecting them from predators. The chicks will stay with their father for the next nine months.
It has also been noted in zoos that cassowary chicks will imprint readily on anyone who is present when they hatch, including humans. These chicks are then extremely tame and will follow their adopted parent anywhere. In some native villages in New Guinea, cassowary chicks are even kept as pets and left to wander loose through the village, like chickens. However, even the tamest chick will turn savage and dangerous upon reaching adulthood.
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