[Fr., from L. avis, a bird ; and struthio, an ostrich.] The largest of all birds, attaining an average height of from 6 to 8 feet. It is a native of the sandy plains of Africa and Arabia. It has long and very strong legs, and only two toes, and is remarkable for its speed in running, and valued for its feathers. Ostriches live chiefly on fruits, grain, leaves, tender shoots, snails, and insects. They swallow stones to grind their food with in the gizzard, and have been known to gulp down pieces of iron, glass, leather, and other hard things. An ostrich egg is very large, weighing about 3 lbs., and is thus equal to about two dozen ordinary hen's eggs. The shell is thick and strong, and is much employed by the South African tribes for water-vessels. The ostrich is now domesticated in South Africa, and bred on farms for its feathers, oil, eggs, etc.