The emu male lives a Valentine´s day focused on raising their eggs
The breeding work in the animal kingdom usually falls on the
females mostly, although there are species that break this rule. This is the
case of the emu (Dromaius) that lives in Terra Natura Benidorm, since one of
the females of the species has laid 10 eggs, the male is dedicated exclusively
to incubate them, to the point that during this phase almost no food is eaten
to focus all its time and energy to take care of the eggs.
It seems that Valentine's Day has been one month ahead
because the emu has been taking care of the eggs since January 8th, which were
deposited by the female in a nest that was also made by the male with feathers,
branches and alfalfa. As a survival mechanism for future offspring, the father
leaves some eggs outside the nest to rot and serve as a decoy to possible
predators such as insects or birds, thus preventing the eggs from being
attacked by them.
The bonding of the male of this species in the breeding
process is very intense, so much that besides being responsible for the
incubation, it also gets to experience hormonal changes during the laying of
eggs that the female leaves. Our zoo keepers hope that if the eggs are
fertilized, the babies will be born before spring time.
It is estimated that the male will lose almost a third of
its weight during the incubation phase, surviving with the fat it has. Emu is
the largest non-flying bird on the planet after the ostrich. The park has a
group of the species formed by one male and two females.
The species can reach two metres height and, as a curiosity,
it can get to eat small stones that helps the digestion of other foods that are
part of their diet like herbs, flowers, seeds, fruits or even insects, such as
grasshoppers or crickets.