Reblogged from stephonthekob
The cassowaries are ratites (flightless birds without a keel on their sternum bone) in the genus Casuarius and are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, nearby islands, and northeastern Australia. There are three extant species recognized today. The most common of these, the southern cassowary, is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu. Cassowaries feed mainly on fruit, although all species are truly omnivorous and will take a range of other plant food including shoots, grass seeds, and fungi in addition to invertebrates and small vertebrates. Cassowaries are very shy, but when provoked they are capable of inflicting injuries to dogs and people, although fatalities are extremely rare. Cassowaries are solitary birds except during courtship, egg-laying, and sometimes around ample food supplies.