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King Cassowary
King Cassowary
King Cassowary illustration
Not recognized (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Infraclass: Palaeognathae
Clade: Notopalaeognathae
Clade: Novaeratitae
Order: Casuariiformes
Family: Casuariidae
Genus: Casuarius
Species: C. regulus
Binomial name
Casuarius regulus
File:King Cassowary distribution.png
Range map for the C. regulus

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The King Cassowary (Casuarius regulus) is a species of cassowary. It is found in Shire.[alt. univ.] It is recognized to being the largest species of cassowary as well as the only species of cassowary that is not native within Australia, New Guinea or surrounding islands within the Pacific Ocean.

Other names

Also known as the Giant Cassowary or the Terror Cassowary.

Description

Similar in appearance to the Southern Cassowary, the King Cassowary's main difference is its greater size and mass. Adults grow to over 5-6 feet tall and some are equivalent in height to Emus. The King Cassowary has a large crest and a powerful bill that is thicker than other species of cassowary. Unique to the cassowary, a ridge of small bumps adorn the King Cassowary's crest.

Similar species

It is often compared to the Southern Cassowary as a result of its appearance and behaviour. However, the King Cassowaries can typically become larger than a Southern Cassowary and varies in appearance as well.

Behaviour

Timid by nature, the King Cassowary can become extremely aggressive if provoked. It is also described to being an extremely curious and territorial bird. Despite being cautious, the King Cassowary will chase after predators or prey that run from its contact much like the Southern Cassowary. Their territorial behaviour is considered considerably violent and will start chasing those intruding its territory for miles. Hence, a common name of Terror Cassowary being given to them.

It can outrun a human being easily. It is also capable of disemboweling those who it sees as a threat via its sharp claws on its feet. Like other cassowaries, they are known to kick at predators. They are also remarkable swimmers.

Diet

Despite its violent behaviour at times, King Cassowary are typically vegetarians that prefer to eat ripe fruits on the ground or low hanging fruit on trees that it can reach up to.

However, like other species of cassowary, the King Cassowary is also an omnivore and may feed on smaller vertebrates and invertebrates. Reports of it eating large carrion has also been shown suggesting that it may eat larger vertebrates at times.

Calls

Can make low calls that are inaudible to the human ear that cassowaries in the surrounding area can easily hear.

Reproduction

Similar to the Southern Cassowaries. Lays 3-5 eggs.

Chicks are of a brownish-yellow colour until they mature.

Distribution/habitat

A rare species that was once believed to be extinct, the King Cassowary was rediscovered in small numbers in certain remote forest and marsh-areas within Shire. Even while being spotted, the cassowaries are quick to disappear from the human eye. Efforts are being made to increase the King Cassowary's general range.

Some King Cassowaries have been kept in captivity and studied in order to create better habitats for the species throughout the country.

References

External links

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