Wildlife in Serengeti-Park
Nandu | Rhea americana
The Nandu, also known as the Greater Rhea, Common Rhea or Lesser Rhea, can be found in Northeastern Brazil to central Argentina. Nandus are, like ostriches and emus, good runners. Unlike ostriches, Nandus’ feet have three toes and they can travel 1.5 meters in one step and reach speeds of up to 60 km / h. By holding out a wing, they can quickly change their direction at full speed. Nandus have reduced wing span and are unable to fly.
Together with the ostriches in the African savannah and the emus in the drylands of Australia, they are among the ratites. Nandus weigh about 25 kilograms with a body height of about 160 centimeters. They live in small groups. In the spring, the Nandu male collects two to seven hens around. By beak and wing beats, he disperses other males from his area. Like the ostrich, he performs highly complex dances in front of the females: he strides back and forth with his wings spread wide, suddenly begins to run very fast, strikes three or four hooks in a row, stops in his run and struts dignifiedly on. Then he bends down and begins again with his idiosyncratic dance. He accompanies his movements with a dull scream. The male rooster builds the nest. He likes doing that close to the water. When the work is completed, the rooster attracts a hen. As a rule, each hen lays 10 to 15 eggs in the common nest. The males are responsible for breeding. The chicks hatch after 40 days. They grow fast and reach a size of 50 centimeters after just two weeks. Already on the fourth day of their young life, they are so fast that you cannot catch up! Nandus feed on leaves, roots and seeds of various plants. But they generally devour everything that they get before the beak: insects, stones, iron parts, nails, bones, meat. Of course, a lot of things are not good for them, so please do not give them anything to eat! On the farms of South America, they are popular animals, as they also eat snakes, grasshoppers, spiders and scorpions and thus keep the yard and the surrounding area free from vermin.