Flightless Birds


Free flightless bird clipart, flightless bird images, flightless bird illustrations, flightless bird pictures, emu, cassowary, ostrich, penguin, kiwi, is of large format and is suitable for presentations and projects and school usage for both students and educaters etc. The large images are too big for use on the internet. However you may use the thumbnail clip art pictures for web pages. Selections of both colour and black and white clip art are available, tha latter are suitable for coloring books. Please do not use them in any other collections of clipart.


Flightless birds are birds which lack the ability to fly, relying instead on their ability to run or swim, and are thought to have evolved from their flying ancestors. There are about forty species in existence today, the best known being the ostrich, emu, cassowary, rhea, kiwi, and penguins. It's believed by some that most flightless birds evolved in the absence of predators, on islands, and lost the power of flight because they had few enemies although this is likely not the case for the ratites; the ostrich, emu and cassowary, as all have claws on their feet to use as a weapon against predators.

Two key differences between flying and flightless birds are the smaller wing bones of flightless birds and the absent (or greatly reduced) keel on their breastbone. The keel anchors muscles needed for wing movement. Flightless birds also have more feathers than flying birds.

New Zealand has more species of flightless birds (including the kiwis, several species of penguins, and the takahe) than any other country. One reason is that until the arrival of humans roughly a thousand years ago, there were no large land predators in New Zealand; the main predators of flightless birds were larger birds.





Last updated March 2010