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Janet Rosen, age 11, of Greenville, Miss., for her question:


An emu is a large Australian bird that looks a bit like the ostrich. It stands about 5 1/2 feet tall and weighs about 100 pounds.

Although the emu has small wings hidden under its feathers, it cannot fly. The bird is a swift runner, however, and makes good use of its long legs.

Two feathers grow from each opening in the skin. The feathers, therefore, make a thick covering for the bird's body. The feathers are brownish black in color.

A female emu lays from eight to 10 eggs that are green and rough. The male sits on the eggs in a flat nest of grass and leaves until they hatch.

Emus feed on green plants and fruit. They are considered pests because they eat crops and break down sheep fences.

Category: Article series 1990

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