Cassowaries are frugivores (fruit eaters), and are known to eat the fruits from 238 plant species. They've also been called a rainforest gardener, swallowing fruit whole and spreading the seeds great distances. Many plant species (especially those with big seeds) rely on them for seed dispersal and germination. The cassowary is Australia’s heaviest bird, weighing up to 76kg! Reaching 1.8m in height they come second only to Emus (which can reach 2m).
Cassowaries make deep booming and rumbling noises, and hiss when threatened. For such a large bird, they're quite elusive. Typically shy and solitary, they can become aggressive when threatened.
Once the eggs are laid, it is the male’s sole responsibility to incubate the eggs, a processwhich takes around 50 days. Once the eggs hatch, males raise the chicks for an additional nine months. The father teaches the young cassowaries, which have distinctive stripes, to forage. They become independent around nine months of age and reach maturity at around three years.
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