3

These adorable Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) chicks have been a part of the Horniman’s collections since 1910! We love the way the larger chick peers downwards and expression on his or her face! This face was particularly striking as we had to use a lifting device to get him/her up to a high shelf in the next taxidermy store room!

The smaller chick is posed in a more upright stance and they were likely once displayed together as a family group. Emu chicks hatch from beautiful blackish green eggs. The eggs are incubated by a dutiful dad who forgoes food and drink while sitting on the eggs. The chicks' broken lines and speckled feather pattern help break up their outline, helping them avoid detection by would-be predators. These Australian birds may start off quite small, but adult Emus are the second tallest bird species in the world with fully grown adults standing just under 2m tall.