Why Do Ostriches Bury Their Heads in the Sand?

ostrichIt may come as a surprise, but they actually don’t. In fact, they lie low on the ground to hide from predators, with their necks blending in with the ground. As the world’s largest and heaviest bird (which also cannot fly), you’d imagine that it would struggle to survive in a sandy environment.

However, it turns out that they are quite adept at surviving in deserts.

Ostriches have long legs for running away from predators, with just two toes to stop them from sinking in the sand. Their long camel-like eyelashes protect their eyes from sand grains – in fact, their Latin name is Struthio camelus! They eat pretty much anything, from seeds and leaves to the occasional insect and lizard, and can go long periods without water, getting moisture from the plants they eat. To help them digest their food, ostriches, like many birds, swallow sand and pebbles to grind food in their gizzard (a specialised muscular pre-stomach).