AppearanceIt has hard and stiff plumage, a brown casque, blue face and neck, red nape and two red wattles hanging down its throat. The three-toed feet are thick and powerful, equipped with a lethal dagger-like claw up to 12 cm on the inner toe. The plumage is sexually monomorphic, but the female is dominant and larger with a longer casque and brighter-colored bare parts. The juveniles have brown longitudinal striped plumage. It is the largest member of the cassowary family and is the second heaviest bird on earth, at a maximum size estimated at 85 kilograms and 190 centimetres . Normally this species ranges from 127 to 170 centimetres in length. The height is 1.5 to 1.8 metres and females average 58 kilograms and males averaging 29 to 34 kilograms . It is technically the largest Asian bird and the largest Australian bird .
StatusDue to ongoing habitat loss, limited range and overhunting in some areas, the Southern Cassowary is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Australian population is listed as Endangered under Federal and Queensland State legislation. Some threats are through habitat loss , feral animals eating their eggs, hunting, and roadkill. Road building, feral animals and hunting are the worst of these threats. It has an occurrence range of 396,000 km2 , and between 10,000 and 20,000 birds were estimated in a 2002 study, with between 1,500 and 2,500 in Australia.
BehaviorIt forages on the forest floor for fallen fruit and is capable of safely digesting some fruits toxic to other animals. They also eat fungi, and some insects and small vertebrates. The Southern Cassowary is a solitary bird, that pairs only in breeding season, which takes place in late winter or spring. The male builds a nest on the ground; a mattress of herbaceous plant material 5 to 10 centimetres thick and up to 100 centimetres wide. This is thick enough to let moisture drain away from the eggs. The male also incubates the eggs and raises the chicks alone. A clutch of three or four eggs are laid measuring 138 by 95 millimetres . They have a granulated surface and are initially bright pea-green in colour although they fade with age.
They make a booming call during mating season and hissing and rumblings otherwise. Chicks will make frequent high-pitches whistles to call the male.
The blade-like claws are capable of killing humans and dogs if the bird is provoked.
HabitatThe Southern Cassowary is distributed in tropical rainforests of Indonesia, New Guinea and northeastern Australia, and it prefers elevations below 1,100 m in Australia, and 500 m on New Guinea.
Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.