The Cassowary, pp.136-137.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

IS next in size to the ostrich, but of a different nature. His wings are hardly perceptible, being very short and entirely concealed under the plumage. The general tint of his feathers is brown, with some spots of vermillion red; his head is small and depressed, with a horny crown; the head and neck are deprived of feathers, and only set with a kind of hairy down. From the bill to the claws the body measures about five feet and a half: about the neck are two protuberances of a bluish colour, and, in shape, like the wattles of a cock. Unlike that in other birds, the nature of his feathers on the coverings of the wings, or any other part of the body, is entirely the same, so that at a distance he looks rather as if he was entirely covered with hairs like a bear, than with plumage like a bird. The Cassowary eats indiscriminately whatever comes in his way, and does not seem to have any sort of predilection for any kind of food. He is a native of the southern parts of India; the eggs of the female are nearly fifteen inches in circumference, of a greyish ash colour, marked with green. It has been said of the Cassowary, that he has the head of a warrior, the eye of a lion, the armament of a porcupine, and the swiftness of a courser; yet nature has made him of a mild, amicable, and gentle disposition. 

The Emú, a native of America, is a bird of a large size belonging to the Cassowary kind; it is reported that the male, when the eggs are laid, drives the female away and hatches them himself; leaving, however, two of the eggs to rot aside, in order to breed flies and insects, to feed the new brood as soon as they are ushered into life; what could be the meaning of this, if true, is impossible to explain; unless we suppose that mindful of his rising posterity, the cock does not allow that the time of incubation should encroach upon the duty of propagating. We are of opinion that the Cassowary, belonging to the Ostrich kind, partakes in the apparent carelessness of that bird for her eggs; a circumstance which may have given rise to the story of the male sitting instead of the female. 

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