The emu and the ostrich are both large, flightless birds. Though they have many similarities, the birds possess several key differences that make them easy to distinguish from one another.
According to National Geographic, an ostrich can reach a height of seven to nine feet. Ostriches can weigh anywhere from 220 to 350 pounds. Emus are smaller, reaching only six and a half feet at their maximum height and 99 pounds at their maximum weight.
The emu and ostrich have similar habitats. They are usually found in savannas, scrubs and grasslands. The major difference lies in the location. Emus originate from Australia and ostriches from Africa.
Both species have nomadic living styles. They travel by running or sprinting. Ostriches are more territorial than emus, which tend to not mind human contact.
Reproduction and Life
The males of the herds are the caregivers for the chicks. The differences lie with the aging process. Emus become fully mature at 12 to 14 months and ostriches at two to four years.
Both birds are listed as a "least concern" on the conservation list. While both are widely hunted for meat and skin, the emu is highly prized for the oil it produces as well.