The Greater Rhea (Rhea americana) is a flightless bird found in eastern South America. Other names for the Greater Rhea include the Grey, Common, American Rhea, ñandú (Guaraní) or ema (portuguese). One of two species in the genus Rhea, Its also similar to the Emu and ostrich.
Rhea in Rio 2As Blu and his family head towards the Amazon, they enlist some Rhea to carry them for a short distance. Tiago calls for his steed to go faster, but Blu calls for his to go slower, accidentally covering her eyes, which makes her laugh. Later on, a Rhea dances in the auditions for Nico and Pedro's show, but tangles herself up in her long neck.
An adult Rhea has an average weight of 20–27 kg (44–60 lb.) and often measures 127 to 140 cm (50 to 55 in) long from beak to tail; they usually stand about 1.5 m (4.9 ft.) tall. Large males can weigh up to 40 kg (88 lb.), stand nearly 1.83 m (6.0 ft.) tall and measure over 150 cm (59 in) long, although this is rare. Males are generally larger than the females.
The head and bill are fairly small, the latter measuring 8–10.4 cm (3.1–4.1 in) in length.
Individual and Flock Behavior
The Greater Rhea is a silent bird except during mating season, when they make low booming noises, and as chicks, when they give a mournful whistle. During the non-breeding season they will form flocks of between 10 and 100 birds. When in flocks, they tend to be less vigilant, but the males can get aggressive towards other males. When chased they will flee in a zig-zag pattern, alternately raising one wing then the other. These flocks break up in the winter in time for breeding season.
Feeding and Diet
The rhea's diet mainly consists of broad-leaved foliage, particularly seeds and fruit
Status and Conservation
The Greater Rhea is considered a near threatened species according to the IUCN, and they have a decreasing range of about 6,540,000 square kilometers (2,530,000 sq mi).