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Emus & Cassowaries

(Family Casuariidae)

Like the ostriches both the Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae and the Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius lack a keel on the sternum, have loose barbless feathers and are both flightless. They also have large powerful legs and lack a hind toe, but the feet differ from those of the ostriches by having three forward-facing toes. The Emu is endemic to Australia, and is represented today only on the mainland. Emus on Tasmania, King Island and Kangaroo Island are extinct. Cassowaries in Australia are confined to north-eastern Qld, but are also found in New Guinea.

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