Cassowaries are considered to be frugivores, or fruit-eating birds, and while their preferred food is fallen fruit, they have also been known to eat small reptiles, dead mammals and even birds. The male cassowary dives into water and submerges himself up to his upper neck and head. The female approaches drumming slowly. Germination rates for seeds of the rare Australian rainforest tree Ryparosa were found to be much higher after passing through a cassowary's gut (92% versus 4%). Unlike the emu, which will live with other sympatric species, such as kangaroos, in "mixed Australian fauna" displays, the cassowary does not cohabit well among its own kind. The male incubates those eggs for 50–52 days, removing or adding litter to regulate the temperature, then protects the chicks, who stay in the nest for about nine months. The birds can jump quite high and kick powerfully with their blade-like claws. These seeds not only remain viable, but even increase the germination after treatment with gastric juice. Kofron and Chapman (2006) assessed the decline of this species. Cassowaries eat a wide variety of fruiting bodies off of the plants themselves. [20] It is unclear whether some island populations are natural or the result of human trade in young birds. Cassowary, (genus Casuarius), any of several species of large flightless birds of the Australo-Papuan region. Studies show that ratites continued to evolve after this separation into their modern counterparts.[17]. The Southern Cassowary will also eat anything from snails to small dead mammals. If two males should meet, they have a stand off where both birds stand tall, fluff up their feathers and rumble at each other until one retreats. The most common of these, the southern cassowary, is the third-tallest and second-heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu. Cassowaries have small wings with 5–6 large remiges. The boy died of his injuries shortly thereafter. Cassowaries play an important role in maintaining the diversity of rainforest trees. [21], Cassowaries have three-toed feet with sharp claws. In his 1958 book, Living Birds of the World, ornithologist Ernest Thomas Gilliard wrote: The inner or second of the three toes is fitted with a long, straight, murderous nail which can sever an arm or eviscerate an abdomen with ease. The male incubates the three to four eggs, which are light green in colour and rough on the outside. Contrary to earlier findings,[23] the hollow inside of the casque is spanned with fine fibres that are believed to have an acoustic function. Cassowaries are predominantly frugivorous, but omnivorous opportunistically when small prey is available. Fruits from the laurel, podocarp, palm, wild grape, nightshade, and myrtle families are important items in the diet. Australian administrative officers stationed in New Guinea were advised that it "should be cooked with a stone in the pot: when the stone is ready to eat so is the Cassowary". [12] The taxonomic name C. (b) papuanus also may be in need of revision to Casuarius (bennetti) westermanni. [5] The type species is the southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius). Remaining causes of death included hunting (5 cases), entanglement in wire (1 case), the removal of cassowaries that attacked humans (4 cases), and natural causes (18 cases), including tuberculosis (4 cases). They have also been known to scavenge on carrion when food is particularly scarce. The southern cassowary of the far north Queensland rain forests is not well studied, and the northern and dwarf cassowaries even less so. In fact mature birds only tolerate each other during the courting and mating process. Following cyclones, the Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service organises feeding in a manner that is safe for both birds and people. They will also eat flowers, fungi, small animals and carrion. The formed couple spends together several weeks. The male will crouch upon the ground and the female will either step on the male's back for a moment before crouching beside him in preparation for copulation, or she may attack. Hand feeding of cassowaries poses a significant threat to their survival because it lures them into suburban areas. They also eat fungi, insects, frogs, spiders, snakes and other small animals, even dead ones and roadkills. New York, USA, Bourke, R. Michael: History of agriculture in Papua New Guinea in Food and Agriculture in Papua New Guinea, ANU Press, 2009, International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, "Collation of Brisson's genera of birds with those of Linnaeus", "The history and significance of the fossil Casuarius lydekkeri", "A pygmy cassowary (Casuarius lydekkeri) from late Pleistocene bog deposits at Pureni, Papua New Guinea", "The taxonomic status of Casuarius bennetti papuanus and C. b. westermanni", "Cassowaries: Casuaridae – Behavior And Reproduction", "Cyclone puts cassowary in greater peril", "Why is the Cassowary Not a Bird? The latter three are disputed by biologist Andrew Mack, whose personal observation suggests that the casque amplifies deep sounds. [30] They then studied 140 cases of cassowary mortality and found that motor vehicle strikes accounted for 55% of the deaths, and dog attacks produced another 18%. Cassowaries prefer fallen fruit, but will eat small vertebrates, invertebrates, fungi, carrion and plants. Casuarius casuarius has the largest and Casuarius bennetti the smallest (tricorn shape), with Casuarius unappendiculatus having variations in between. 3 donuts was 900 calories, at the most. [33] They are the only indigenous Australasian animal known to have been partly domesticated by people prior to European arrival. Only two human deaths have been reported since 1900. Cassowaries are very wary of humans, but if provoked they are capable of inflicting serious, even fatal, injuries to both dogs and people. Cassowaries are mainly ‘fructivores’ (fruit eaters). [35] The Kalam people considered themselves related to cassowaries and did not classify them as birds but as kin.[36]. Cassowaries prefer fallen fruit, but will eat small vertebrates, invertebrates, fungi, carrion (dead flesh) and plants. Cassowaries love fruit, and most are predominantly frugivorous. Wild cassowaries dine mainly on fruits and berries that fall to the ground in the rainforests they call home. They do not have feathers on their necks. What do cassowaries eat ? What do Cassowaries eat? They move on when the fruit is depleted. The bird kicked the younger boy, who fell and ran away as his older brother struck the bird. The vast majority of their diet consists of fruit, but when fruit is scarce they will also eat flowers, snails, insects, mushrooms, frogs, birds, fish, rats, and mice. Females are bigger and more brightly coloured. Of the attacks, 73% involved the birds expecting or snatching food, 5% involved defending their natural food sources, 15% involved defending themselves from attack, and 7% involved defending their chicks or eggs. [8][9] As the publication date of Linnaeus's sixth edition was before the 1758 starting point of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, Brisson, and not Linnaeus, is considered as the authority for the genus.[10]. Relevance. Answer Save. The Southern Cassowary will also eat anything from snails to small dead mammals. Typically, all cassowaries are shy birds that are found in the deep forest. During World War II American and Australian troops stationed in New Guinea were warned to steer clear of them. [citation needed]. Cassowaries mainly feed on fruits that have fallen to the ground from the trees, along with leaves, grasses, seeds, insects, spiders and other invertebrates. This only encourages them to approach people and danger zones such as busy roads If travelling to an area where cassowaries are known to live, consider leaving your dog at home, or at least keeping your pet on a leash. [22] This claw is particularly fearsome since cassowaries sometimes kick humans and other animals with their powerful legs. I wanted to write a book on cassowaries and needed to know what food they ate! Where trees are dropping fruit, cassowaries will come in and feed, with each bird defending a tree from others for a few days. Cassowaries (from Malay kasuari)[11] are part of the ratite group, which also includes the emu, rheas, ostriches, and kiwi, as well as the extinct moas and elephant birds. [29], The southern cassowary is endangered in Queensland. [20], As for eating the cassowary, it is supposed to be quite tough. There are three extant species. Despite the fact that cassowaries eat a lot of juicy fodder, they, as well as ostriches, swallow pebbles (touring), which help to grind food in the stomach. Caged birds are regularly bereft of their fresh plumes.[21]. The cassowary has adapted to a life without the need to fly due to the fact that, historically, the cassowary had no predators within its natural environment and therefore had no need to flee. Because their digestive tract is relatively short, their droppings contain fruit seeds that are only partially digested. They do not have rectrices (tail feathers) or a preen gland. The southern cassowary of the far north Queensland rain forests is not well studied, and the northern and dwarf cassowaries even less so. Once she's laid the eggs, the female leaves. The Southern Cassowary feeds mostly on fruit that has fallen to the ground. The cause for 14 cases were indicated as, for unknown reasons.[30]. [41], Another human death due to a cassowary was recorded in Florida on April 12, 2019. The cassowary breeding season starts in May to June. In addition to plants, cassowaries eat snails, frogs, insects, small snakes, and muruk sometimes catch fish. [25], Earlier research indicates the birds lower their heads when running "full tilt through the vegetation, brushing saplings aside and occasionally careening into small trees. The evolutionary history of cassowaries, as of all ratites, is not well known. In order to drink, they literally scoop up the water with their lower bill. [3] They will, however, venture out into palm scrub, grassland, savanna, and swamp forest. Cassowaries have a reputation for being dangerous to people and domestic animals. ", Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, Images and movies of the southern cassowary, C4 Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation, Video: Cassowary with 3 chicks drinking water at Elantra Resort, Mission Beach,, Higher-level bird taxa restricted to the Australasia-Pacific region, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from January 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2014, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2019, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2019, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the Encyclopedia Americana with a Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles containing unlinked shortened footnotes, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 17 November 2020, at 09:57. Interestingly, the fruits are not fully digested in the stomach of the cassowaries and in the litter of birds there are always many seeds. They destroy nests and eggs of cassowaries, but their worst effect is as competitors for food, which may be catastrophic for the cassowaries during lean times. Garbage and other vegetable food is fed to them, and they live for years in such enclosures; in some areas their plumage is still as valuable as shell money . The older McClean then tripped and fell to the ground. There is no specific breeding season for these birds, but most often nesting occurs in the Australian winter and early spring (July to October). This is related to a discovery that at least the dwarf cassowary and southern cassowary produce very-low frequency sounds, which may aid in communication in dense rainforest. The female pursues him into the water where he eventually drives her to the shallows where she crouches making ritualistic motions of her head. If subspecies are recognised, Weltvogelpark Walsrode has Casuarius bennettii westermanni and Casuarius unappendiculatus rufotinctus. However, cassowaries do not attack indiscriminately and a 1999 study by Christopher Kofron (1999) of 221 recorded attacks by Casuarius casuarius johnsonii showed that attacks are … Cassowaries are predominantly frugivorous, but they will take flowers, fungi, snails, insects, frogs, birds, fish, rats, mice, and carrion. They stated that habitat loss and fragmentation is the primary cause of decline. These are reduced to stiff, keratinous quills, resembling porcupine quills, with no barbs. They are adept at disappearing long before a human knows they were there. Blue Arrow, as she was sometimes called, had earned a reputation for pursuing walkers on the Mt Whitfield track. Cassowaries have large brown eyes and a long, curved beak. A fossil species was reported from Australia, but for reasons of biogeography this assignment is not certain and it might belong to the prehistoric Emuarius, which were cassowary-like primitive emus. 1 decade ago. Over 238 species of plants have been recorded in the cassowary diet. Three extant species are recognised, and one extinct: Most authorities consider the taxonomic classification above to be monotypic, however, several subspecies of each have been described,[15] and some of them have even been suggested as separate species, e.g., C. (b) papuanus. There's no one set of food items that anorexic people eat. [27] While females move among satellite territories of different males, they appear to remain within the same territories for most of their lives, mating with the same, or closely related, males over the course of their life spans. They found that, of the former cassowary habitat, only 20–25% remains. They are among the largest birds in the world and are classified as ratites, birds that do not fly and do not have a keel on their sternum bone. Cassowaries are the only genus of large flightless birds of the family of casuarous cassowaries, which live in the tropical forests of New Guinea and the north-east of Australia. May 11, 2017 June 1, 2017 admintag Cassowaries are omnivorous, but they prefer vegetable food. The male then incubates the clutch for 50 days, raises and protects the chicks for about a year, and then chases them away. There, the birds are more susceptible to encounters with vehicles and dogs. Cassowaries are a keystone species of rain forests because they eat fallen fruit whole and distribute seeds across the jungle floor via excrement. I want to write a book on Cassowaries and I need to know what they eat! The cassowary plum takes its name from the bird. [4][42][43][44][45], Davies, S. J. J. F. (2002) "Ratites and Tinamous" Oxford University Press. They will normally eat fruits from the Laurel, palm, wild grape, and nightshade and myrtle families. At this time, males divide the territory into plots of 1-5 km². However, deadly encounters with cassowaries are rare. Courtship and pair bonding rituals begin with the vibratory sounds broadcast by females. The necks are brightly colored in red, blue, purple and yellow. Cassowaries sometimes kill and eat small animals. I just wouldn't eat anything else all day. Interestingly, the fruits are not fully digested in the stomach of the cassowaries and in the litter of birds there are always many seeds. Donuts? All ratites are believed to have originally come from the super-continent Gondwana, which separated around 180 million years ago. A ready-made fertiliser, the dung helps many kinds of seed to grow. It also has been speculated that the casques play a role in either sound reception or acoustic communication. [40], The first documented human death caused by a cassowary was on April 6, 1926. The common, or southern, cassowary, Casuarius casuarius, which inhabits … Cassowaries are native to the humid rainforests of New Guinea, nearby smaller islands, East Nusa Tenggara, The Maluku Islands and to northeastern Australia. Some females may get as big as 2 m (7 ft), and weigh about 70 kg (154 lb). Cassowaries can also run at 48 kilometres (30 miles) per hour, and as they career through the forest they lower their heads to push through the undergrowth. The double-wattled cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) is the most popular species in captivity and it is fairly common in European and American zoos, where it is known for its unmistakable appearance. Cassowaries (genus Casuarius) are frugivorous; fallen fruit and fruit on low branches is the mainstay of their diet. Cassowary eggs reach a length of 12-14 cm and weigh 500-650 g. Their shells are very dark, its shade varies from almost black to dark olive and dark green. A Cassowary is known to defend its tree from other Cassowaries for days on end. Cassowaries are the only members of the family Casuariidae and belong to the order Casuariiformes, which also includes the emu.There are three species (counted by some experts as six), each with several races. [39] A 2003 historical study of 221 cassowary attacks showed that 150 had been against humans: 75% of these had been from cassowaries that had been fed by people, 71% of the time the bird had chased or charged the victim, 15% of the time they kicked. Individual specimens must even be kept in separate enclosures, due to their solitary and aggressive nature. Females are larger and more brightly coloured than the males. Favorite Answer. The young males later go off to find a territory of their own.[20][27]. The average home range can be 75 – 80 hectares and possibly even more but this can vary depending on the fruit that is available at the time. The casque's shape and size, up to 18 cm (7 in), is species-dependent. Many rainforest trees are reliant on this bird to eat and disperse their seeds, many of which will only germinate after they have passed through the cassowary’s gut. There are three main levels to the food web that contains the cassowary. The nest is made up of sticks, leaves and other forest debris. The seeds pass through their bodies, and so the cassowary plays an important part in spreading seeds of rainforest plants. Adult southern cassowaries are 1.5 to 1.8 m (5–6 ft) tall, although some females may reach 2 m (6.6 ft),[18] and weigh 58.5 kg (130 lb). Cassowaries (/ˈkæsəwɛəri/), genus Casuarius, are ratites (flightless birds without a keel on their sternum bone) that are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea (Papua New Guinea and Indonesia), East Nusa Tenggara, the Maluku Islands, and northeastern Australia.[3]. In February 2011 Cyclone Yasi destroyed a large area of cassowary habitat, endangering 200 of the birds – approximately 10% of the total Australian population.[32]. Dung Snuffling. The casque would help protect the skull from such collisions". [19], All three species have a keratinous skin-covered casque on their heads that grows with age. Cassowaries prefer fruit and are sometimes referred to as frugivores (fruit-eaters), but they are actually omnivores and will also eat small vertebrates (such as snails and frogs and eggs), invertebrates, fungi, and carrion. [4], The genus Casuarius was erected by the French scientist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in his Ornithologie published in 1760. When trees start dropping their fruits, the Cassowaries will move in and start eating them from the ground. Cassowaries are frugivores that feed on the fruits of several hundred rain forest plants. They breed when fruit is most abundant – from June to October. [12] A claw exists on each second digit of the feet. Typically, all cassowaries are shy birds that are found in the deep forest. They can spread seeds over one kilometre from where they were found in their droppings. Often they are kept until they become nearly grown and someone gets hurt. What to do if you encounter a cassowary: Do not feed cassowaries or leave out litter that the birds can easily access. Cassowaries can live to 40 years in the wild.Each foot has three toes and the middle toe has a long claw up to 12cm in length. The bird's owner, a 75-year-old man who had raised the animal, was apparently clawed to death after he fell to the ground. Cassowaries eat more than just fruit. Reproduction. Cassowaries feed mainly on fruit, although all species are truly omnivorous and will take a range of other plant food, including shoots and grass seeds, in addition to fungi, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. Cassowaries drink often, using forest water bodies, which are abundant in damp forests. These levels are the primary producer or the fruits and other plants, the primary consumer known as the cassowary, and finally the secondary consumer which is most commonly the human. They live for about 40-50 years. Adult Southern Cassowaries are between 1.5 m (5 ft) to 1.8 m (6 ft) tall. Tragic postscript The last known cassowary on Mt Whitfield died on 2 November 1996, when attacked by two dogs. The female does not care for the eggs or the chicks, but rather moves on within her territory to lay eggs in the nests of several other males. The cassowary has solitary habits and breeds less frequently in zoos than other ratites such as ostrich and emu. [31] Contact with humans encourages cassowaries to take food from picnic tables. Their favorite food is tropical fruits and berries. Lv 7. They can be found in the tropical forest of New Guinea, Indonesia, and North East Australia where they are native. Cassowaries eat fallen fruit and the wedge-shaped crest would help deflect any fruit/seeds tumbling from the treetops. [26] A cooling function for the very similar casques of guineafowl has been proposed. Female cassowary have larger territories, overlapping those of several males. Sometimes these seeds are so large that no other animal can swallow them! Mature cassowaries are placed beside native houses in cribs hardly larger than the birds themselves. [20] The male cassowary defends a territory of about 7 km2 (1,700 acres) for himself and his mate. A Problem of Zoological Taxonomy Among the Karam of the New Guinea Highlands", "Authorities: Large, flightless bird kills its Florida owner", "Cassowary kills man at farm near Alachua", "Cassowary, called 'most dangerous bird,' attacks and kills Florida man", "Cassowary, world's 'most dangerous bird', kills owner in Florida", "Systema Naturae 2000 / Classification – Genus Casuarius", "Causes of mortality to the endangered Southern Cassowary, 10.1642/0004-8038(2003)120[1062:lvbccs];2, "Does Rain Forest Bird "Boom" Like a Dinosaur? When the females appear, they become animated and begin to turn. The mating dance of the cassowary is a bit like the behavior of a turkey: the male ruffles the feathers, his neck is inflated and bright, and he accompanies his actions with a “serenade” that sounds like a “bu-bu-bu-bu”. Feral pigs also are a significant threat to their survival. In Australia, 16-year-old Phillip McClean and his brother, age 13, came across a cassowary on their property and decided to try and kill it by striking it with clubs. They are, however, known to favor fruits. They are often kept as pets in native villages [in New Guinea], where they are permitted to roam like barnyard fowl. The average lifespan of wild cassowaries is believed to be about 40 to 50 years.[27]. Females lay three to eight large, bright green or pale green-blue eggs in each clutch into a heap of leaf litter prepared by the male. He will climb onto her to copulate as well. [25] The "boom" vocalisation that cassowaries produce is the lowest-frequency bird call known and is at the lower limit of human hearing. Young cassowaries are brown and have buffy stripes. In some cases another male may approach and run off the first male. Southern Cassowaries normally feed alone. [16] Validation of these subspecies has proven difficult due to individual variations, age-related variations, the scarcity of specimens, the stability of specimens (the bright skin of the head and neck—the basis of describing several subspecies—fades in specimens), and the practice of trading live cassowaries for thousands of years, some of which are likely to have escaped or deliberately introduced to regions away from their origin.[12]. The Cassowary is one of only five of their kind alive today along with the Emu, Kiwi, Ostrich, and Rheu. Fruit, even items as large as bananas and apples, is swallowed whole. How can that be? Cassowaries tend to be very solitary. Other suggested functions include being used to batter through underbrush, as a weapon in dominance disputes, or for pushing aside leaf litter during foraging. Males approach and run with necks parallel to the ground while making dramatic movements of the head, which accentuate the frontal neck region. Cassowaries prefer fallen fruit to other food, but will also eat small vertebrates (such as snails and frogs, small birds and eggs), invertebrates, fungi, carrion and plants. This is often the case with the females pursuing the males in ritualistic chasing behaviours that generally terminate in water. Over 238 species of plants have been recorded in the southern cassowary diet. Cassowaries are very beneficial to the ecosystem. Cassowaries can live up to 40 years in the wild and some captive birds have lived longer than 60 years. [19] The furcula and coracoid are degenerate, and their palatal bones and sphenoid bones touch each other. do not feed cassowaries Cassowaries can become used to hand-feeding, thus increasing their exposure to the risks posed in developed areas, such as vehicle strikes and dog attacks. Cassowaries have a reputation for being dangerous to people and animals, and are often regarded as aggressive. Fruit from at least 26 plant families has been documented in the diet of cassowaries. [20] The cassowary plum takes its name from the bird. The Rainforest Gardener Cassowaries require a high diversity of fruiting trees to provide a year-round supply of fleshy fruits. Cassowaries eat fruit and seeds. Cassowaries are omnivorous, but they prefer vegetable food. One is that they are a secondary sexual characteristic. The second toe, the inner one in the medial position, sports a dagger-like claw that may be 125 mm (5 in) long. 2 Answers. Having been [34] The Maring people of Kundagai sacrificed cassowaries (C. bennetti) in certain rituals. [20] The eggs measure about 9 by 14 cm (3.5 by 5.5 in) – only ostrich and emu eggs are larger. Unlike other ratites, it lives exclusively in tropical rainforest, and it is important to recreate this habitat carefully. I know when I was anorexic, I survived off of donuts and yogurt. What Do Cassowaries Eat? [20] These, along with their wedge-shaped body, are thought to be adaptations to ward off vines, thorns, and saw-edged leaves, allowing them to run quickly through the rainforest. There are many records of natives being killed by this bird. As of 2019[update] only Weltvogelpark Walsrode in Germany has all three species of cassowary in its collection: single-wattled cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) and Bennett's cassowary (Casuarius bennetti), both of which are endemic to the tropical rainforest of New Guinea, and the dwarf cassowary, the smallest species. The female lays three to five large green eggs in a simple nest scraped in the ground and lined with leaves. During the Nursery group's collecting of droppings many unusual items have been found in Cassowary poo: an entire skeleton of a honeyeater, child’s coloured blocks, various sized marbles and a very small plastic car possibly from a cereal packet are just a few of the items discovered. The two may remain in copulation for extended periods of time. The dog later died from an apparent intestinal rupture. They are known to disperse seeds over distances greater than a kilometre, and thus play an important role in the ecosystem. [37], This assessment of the danger posed by cassowaries has been repeated in print by authors including Gregory S. Paul (1988)[38] and Jared Diamond (1997). [citation needed]. Helpfulhannah. Their favorite food is tropical fruits and berries. Cassowaries travel long distances. Besides fruits, their diet includes flowers, fungi, snails, insects, frogs, birds, fish, rats, mice, and carrion. They are adept at disappearing long before a human knows they were there. [24] Several functions for the casque have been proposed. [6] The Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus had introduced the genus Casuarius in the sixth edition of his Systema Naturae published in 1748,[7] but Linnaeus dropped the genus in the important tenth edition of 1758 and put the southern cassowary together with the common ostrich and the greater rhea in the genus Struthio. He defends them fiercely against all potential predators, including humans. These birds are known to eat well over 26 different species of fruit. [12], All cassowaries have feathers that consist of a shaft and loose barbules. The blow left no puncture, but there was severe bruising. Like y and emu, in cassowaries family troubles are the prerogative of males. The name of the bird is borrowed from the Indonesian language and comes from the Papuan kasu weri, which in translation means “horned head”. They are good swimmers, crossing wide rivers and swimming in the sea. [41], Cassowary strikes to the abdomen are among the rarest of all, but there is one case of a dog that was kicked in the belly in 1995. While he was on the ground, the cassowary kicked him in the neck, opening a 1.25 cm (0.5 in) wound that may have severed his jugular vein. Males are far more tolerant of one another than females, which do not tolerate the presence of other females. Some plant species can only reproduce if the seeds have been through the digestive system of the cassowary! Cassowaries are frugivores that also eat their own poop. Territoriality is one of their most important characteristics. Cassowaries feed mainly on fruits, though all species are truly omnivorous and will take a range of other plant food including shoots, grass seeds and fungi. The cassowary has often been labeled "the world's most dangerous bird". Cassowaries have been recorded eating over 238 species of plants, and they play an important role in maintaining the diversity of the rainforest. Cassowaries are solitary birds except during courtship, egg-laying, and sometimes around ample food supplies. The Mission Beach community in far north Queensland holds an annual Cassowary Festival in September where funds are raised to map the Mission Beach Cassowary Corridor. Cassowaries are important for maintaining the diversity of rainforest trees. Cassowaries do not have a tongue so they manipulate fruit in their beak by tossing it about. Cassowaries eat fallen fruit and consequently spend much time under trees where seeds the size of golfballs or larger fall from heights of up to 30 m (100 ft); the wedge-shaped casque may protect the head by deflecting falling fruit. They arrange the nests, and the females lay eggs in them and … move away. Cassowaries can run at up to 50 km/h (30 mph) through the dense forest and can jump up to 1.5 m (5 ft). [28], Cassowaries feed on the fruit of several hundred rainforest species and usually pass viable seeds in large, dense scats. On their heads they wear a tall, hornlike casque. Some New Guinea Highlands societies capture cassowary chicks and raise them as semi-tame poultry, for use in ceremonial gift exchanges and as food. Cassowary birds eat plants and animals, but their preferred diet is mainly frui… Only one human death was reported among those 150 attacks.