The common ostrich or simply ostrich, is a species of large flightless bird native to certain large areas of Africa. It is one of two extant species of ostriches, the only living members of the genus Struthio in the ratite order of birds. The other is the Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes), which was recognized as a distinct species by Bird Life International in 2014 having been previously considered a very distinctive subspecies of ostrich.
The strong legs of the common ostrich are unfeathered and show bare skin, with the tarsus (the lowest upright part of the leg) being covered in scales: red in the male, black in the female. The tarsus of the common ostrich is the largest of any living bird, measuring 15 to 21 inches in length.
The bird has just two toes on each foot (most birds have four), with the nail on the larger, inner toe resembling a hoof. The outer toe has no nail. The reduced number of toes is an adaptation that appears to aid in running, useful for getting away from predators.
Common ostriches can run at a speed over 43 mph and can cover 9.8 to 16.4 feet in a single stride. The wings reach a span of about 6 ft 7 inches, and the wing chord measurement of 35 inches is around the same size as for the largest flying birds.
These home-style potatoes topped with Cheddar cheese bring back memories of a restaurant specialty. A scrumptious side dish couldn't be any easier! Our recipe calls for unpeeled potatoes, which make this dish quick. Remember, though, there are no rules. So if you want to peel your potatoes, go for it!
- 6 medium baking potatoes, unpeeled and cubed (about 2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 (1-ounce) envelope onion soup mix
- 1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
- 5 green onions, chopped