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more on WHEN CASSOWARIES ATTACK



Chris Brochu wrote...
 
> I'd always assumed that cassowaries are more aggressive because of
> where they live.  Other ratites live in open country, and their normal
> response to any kind of threat is to turn and run away.  Cassowaries
> live in rain forests, and the turn-and-run option is not always open
> to them.

Emus are probably equally as aggressive as cassowaries plus, as I noted 
in the text, cassowaries aren't naturally *that* aggressive - it's mostly 
the behaviour of stupid humans which has given them a bad press. 
Indeed, in places where cassowaries don't associate people with food, 
or feel unduly threatened by them, they are relatively safe to be around 
(Ron Orenstein may or may not back me up here as I know he's been in 
close proximity to wild individuals - my only experience with live ones 
is with a single captive individual). Field researchers in New Guinea 
(e.g. Tim Flannery) also report that truly wild birds are secretive and 
elusive, staying well away from people.

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel (mobile): 0776 1372651     
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                                       www.palaeobiology.co.uk