Amorous Ostriches

From my friend Greg Wilson; source unknown:

British poultry farmers trying to raise ostriches in the 1990s called in
scientists to find out why their birds were failing to breed. Careful
observations confirmed the birds were courting the farm workers rather
than each other, Norma Bubier of Pro-Natura UK and colleagues reported
in a seminal paper in British Poultry Science (vol 39, p 477), entitled
“Courtship behavior of ostriches toward humans under farming conditions
in Britain”.

The research was no laughing matter for the scientists or the farmers.
Ostriches are big. “You wouldn’t want to be in a pen with an amorous
ostrich, because if it tried to climb on top of you, you’d be in serious
trouble,” says Charles Paxton of the University of St. Andrews. Most of
the birds had been hand-raised by humans, and Paxton suspects they
identified with people when they went looking for mates. However, the
British ostrich industry collapsed before he could investigate further.

posted at 1:02 pm on Friday, October 04, 2002 in General | Comments Off on Amorous Ostriches

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