Ostrich, or Struthin Came-bis, L. the largest of the feathered tribe, and a native of Africa and Arabia. It is usually six. or seven, and sometimes eight or nine feet high from the top of the head to the ground ; and measures seven feet in length, from the beak to the point of the tail.

The plumage of these birds is, in general, black and white, though sometimes grey ; the sides, thighs, and coverts of the wings, are destitute of feathers ; the thighs being very large, fleshy, and covered with a reddish-white skin.

Ostriches are remarkable for the uncommon swiftness with which they run, when pursued; their wings being too short for flying : two persons might easily ride on the back of this giant-bird, if it were properly trained. The female lays several times in the year from 20 to 30 eggs, which are hatched in the sand, and weigh from three to four pounds each ; they are very nourishing, but of a taste less agreeable than that of hen's eggs. Hence these prodigious birds are chiefly valuable on account of their soft downy feathers, employed in the manufacture of military plumes; and which pay on importation, if dressed, the sum of 9s. 81/2, per lb.; if undressed, they are subject to the duty of 4s. 10 1/2. per lb.