Which Birds Only Have Two Toes?


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Kath Senior Profile
Kath Senior answered
The ostrich is the only bird that has two-toed feet. The longest toe corresponds to the middle toe in other birds (which usually have four toes altogether) and has a long claw that can be used as a very effective weapon. Ostriches cannot fly; they are purely ground dwelling birds and so cannot take to the air to get away from predators.

Instead they use their very strong legs to kick anything that attacks them and use the sharp claw on the end of their long toe to gash and maim.

Having a good pair of legs gives the ostrich another method of escaping attacks from predators – it can run away very fast. An ostrich has a long stride and can run at speeds up to 50 kilometres per hour. It is also a strong jumper and can spring off to such a good start it can even escape a surprise attack by a leopard or cheetah.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
We have unidentifible tracks in the snow on our back deck which are large, two-toed, about 10" long, and a stride of about 4-5' apart. The ostrich is not indigenous to our area, but many have been raised close by. We have lots of woods out back, but have never seen one or ever seen these prints before. Could an ostrich hop over (or step over) a 3' deck railing? Would love to know what these prints are. Charlotte at Chapmansboro, TN.

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