Cassowary are large flightless birds and are part of a group of birds called ratites, such as the ostrich, emu, moa (now extinct) and kiwi. They are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, East Nusa Tenggara, the Maluku Islands and north-eastern Australia.
Cassowaries first appeared during the Early Pliocene, about 5 million years ago. Cassowaries feed mainly on fruit and other plant elements, including buds and seeds, mushrooms, also integrating small invertebrates and small vertebrates into their diet.
Cassowaries are very wary of humans and if provoked are capable of inflicting serious, even fatal, injuries to both pets and people. For this reason it has often been labeled the most dangerous bird in the world. And here comes the curious news from Australia, which I share with extreme interest.
One specimen was filmed by some swimmers in Bingil Bay, along the Australian east coast. These animals are very good swimmers, but it is unusual to see them swimming, especially so close to the shore.
Cassowary swims near the Australian coast
Queensland Environment wrote on its Facebook page, also sharing a video: "Witness this jaw dropping moment as a juvenile cassowary emerges from the ocean at Bingil Bay!
After being spotted swimming 200 meters offshore, it recovered for half an hour by remaining under a tree with shake-y legs These incredible birds are not just land-dwellers – they'll take a swim when faced with threats like dogs or other cassowaries.
This rare sighting emphasizes the importance of preserving the endangered southern cassowary. Living in Cassowary country comes with responsibilities. With only around 4000 cassowaries left in Queensland, we must do our part to protect and conserve these unique creatures." One of the best-known characteristics that all three species of cassowaries have in common is the curious bony crest, covered in keratin, in the shape of a helmet on the head of these birds, which grows with age.
These crests can reach up to 7 inches in length, depending on the species. The Casuarius casuarius species has the larger crest, while the Casuarius bennetti species has the smaller (triangle-shaped) crest, with Casuarius unppendiculatus having a crest intermediate between the two.