Among land animals, which animal has the largest eyeball?
And the answer: the ostrich.
The ostrich's eyeball is about the size of a billiard ball, making it the biggest eye of all land animals. In fact, the ostrich eye is bigger than its brain!
The ostrich's eyes have adapted to fit its life on the ground. With its immense height (sometimes up to 9 ft tall!) and large eyes, the ostrich is able to see even the most minute details on their predator over a great distance. When danger is spotted, they engage their large, powerful legs to run away. Though these massive birds may lack the power of flight, they thrive in other qualities of self-defense.
Here are 3 fun facts about the ostrich that you may not know:
- Ostriches have inspired cultures for over 5,000 years. In Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, ostriches were featured in artwork, painted on cups and other pottery, and even came to represent wealth and elegance.
- In South Africa and some places in the US, ostriches are saddled and raced in friendly competition. The race is of similar fashion to that of horse racing, as reins are placed over the ostrich's head and a special bit in their mouth. Unlike horse racing, however, it is not uncommon to be toppled by the large, wild bird (though, replacing horses with ostriches would make for an interesting cowboy movie...).
- As they lack teeth, ostriches swallow pebbles to grind their food. Taking crunchy to a whole new level!