One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A very large flightless bird related to the emu, with a bare head and neck, a tall horny crest, and one or two coloured wattles. It is native mainly to the forests of New Guinea.
Family Casuariidae and genus Casuarius: three species
- ‘Large flightless birds, emus are native to Australia and are next only to the cassowary and the ostrich in size.’
- ‘They're actually related to geese and ducks, the group anseriformes, whereas the moas, emus, cassowaries, ostriches and so on belong to a group called the ratites and they actually have small heads compared to their bodies.’
- ‘Their wings are stunted, with a smaller body-to-wing proportion than in some other ratites, and, like most other ratites, cassowaries have no tail feathers.’
- ‘So the cassowaries, kookaburras, koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles and wallabies that one goes to Australia in the hope of seeing are all there.’
- ‘In fact, the moa is a New Zealand species but kiwis are more closely related to emus and cassowaries in Australia, so it may be bad news for the national symbol.’
- ‘And like most birds, the cassowary has a mating call; witnesses compare the male's to the wheezing of an old truck with a sick ignition.’
- ‘‘Without cassowaries, over 100 native rainforest plants are not able to regenerate,’ he said.’
- ‘For example, the cassowary (a large flightless bird) feeds on bright blue and red fruit.’
- ‘Similar in appearance to ornamental features seen in birds like cassowaries and hornbills, the crest may have been used for display, the study team suggests.’
- ‘I told him about the cassowary, a flightless, man-size bird that lives in the rainforests and has a razor claw on each foot with which it can slice you open in a deft and appallingly expansive manner.’
- ‘Ostriches, emus, cassowaries, rheas, kiwis, moas and elephant birds really are more closely related to each other than they are to any other birds.’
- ‘Certainly, the cassowary's clawed wings, scaly legs, featherless heads, wrinkled necks, and large size give them a dinosaur-like appearance.’
- ‘As well as the beautiful scenery, the group had the chance to see dugongs, a cassowary and her stripy chicks, native rats - certainly larger than your average house rat - and wild pigs with their piglets.’
- ‘We also owe a small selection of words for native wildlife to the language: the cassowary, a large flightless bird related to the emu, was called kasuari in Malay.’
- ‘Despite their fearsome size and appearance, cassowaries are solitary birds that are rarely seen in the wild.’
- ‘We saw giraffes, penguins, kangaroos, polar bears, cassowaries etc., so there were quite a few animals which were unusual in that environment.’
- ‘Giant crowned pigeons, small wallaby kangaroos, cassowary birds, tree kangaroos, and wild boars are abundant within an hour's walk of the village.’
Early 17th century: from Malay kesuari.
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