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Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
The emu is the largest bird in Australia, and the second largest in the world after the ostrich. Emus have long necks, sharp beaks and small ears. They have two sets of eyelids, one for blinking and one to keep out the dust. Their feet are long, with three toes. One toe on each foot has a long talon, for fighting. Emu feathers are soft and light-brown with dark tips. Each feather has a double shaft. Emus can grow to between 5 to 6.5 feet (1.5 2 metres) in height and weigh up to 130 pounds (60 kg). Males are slightly smaller than females. Males make a grunting sound like a pig and...
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Location: Birds & Bats
China Sets Up Quack Squad
by David Rennie
An army of 700,000 specially trained ducks and chickens has been mobilised to help fight China's biggest locust plague in 25 years. The birds, which are taught to pursue and eat locusts at the sound of a whistle, are part of a national campaign that includes 280,000 people backed by crop-dusting planes and special locust-killing micro-organisms imported from Britain. Swarms of locusts have destroyed more than 1.6 million hectares of crops in 11 provinces in the north and east of China, and 3.8 million hectares of grassland in the far western region of Xinjiang. The birds are used in Xin...
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Location: Birds & Bats