The emu is quite a fussy eater, preferring foods that are rich in nutrients, such as seeds, fruit and young fruit. Emu's will avoid grass and old leaves even if there is nothing else to eat! As part of their general diet they will eat a variety of both native and introduced plant species. Of course seasonal availability will need to be taken into consideration during which they will also eat insects, including grasshoppers and crickets, lady birds, soldier and salt-bush caterpillars, Bogong and cotton-boll moth larvae and ants. Emus will also take feed on insects, small rodents and lizards when they are plentiful.
|Image credit - Benjamint444|
Emu's do not have teeth and so they will swallow small pebbles to act as gizzard stones (gastroliths). These help the emu digest its food as they grind up the food in the stomach making it easier to absorb the nutrients. These pebbles can be quite large - up to 46 grams in weight!
Because the emu's diet is so nutritious, it will grow quickly and breed in large numbers. It is almost constantly on the move, covering hundreds of kilometres searching for food once supplies have been exhausted from one area.
Emu food facts
|Image credit - Larry Rana|
2. Emu's have been known to eat charcoal, however research has yet to ascertained why.
3. Captive emus have been witnessed eating shards of glass, marbles, car keys, jewellery and nuts and bolts.
4. Wild emu's are opportunistically nomadic and will travel long distances to find food. While their diet is varied, they have been known to go for weeks without food
5. Emu's serve as an important agent for the dispersal of large viable seeds, which contributes to floral biodiversity
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