All the existing Ratitae (with the exception of the ostriches of Africa and South America, belonging to the genera Struthio and Rhea, and comprising at most but five species) are found in Austrogaea and nowhere else.
Nearly every order, except that of the Struthiones or ostriches, is well represented, and there are many peculiar genera not found elsewhere, such as Buceros, Harpactes, Lophophorus, Euplocamus, Pavo and Ceriornis.
The seventh order, Proceres, is divided into 2 " cohorts " - Veri with 2 families, ostriches and emeus; and Subnobiles, consisting of the genus Apteryx.
Ostriches are found in the open plains; the rivers swarm with crocodiles, but hippopotami are rare.
- Fibre is obtained from the aloe plants, this industry being in the hands of women; ostriches are reared for the sake of their feathers, and large quantities of gum and resin are collected.
In 1908 Europeans were returned as owning 32,000 horses, 220,000 horned cattle, 765,000 sheep, 68,000 goats, 25,000 pigs, 960 ostriches and 384,000 poultry.
In the desert, too, there is a widely scattered tribe, the Salubi, which from its name (Salib, cross) is conjectured to be of early Christian origin; they are great hunters, killing ostriches and gazelles; the Arabs despise them as an inferior race, but do not harm them; they pay a small tax to the tribe under whose protection they live, and render service as labourers, for which they receive in the spring milk and cheese; at the date harvest they get wages in kind; with this, and the produce of the chase, they manage to exist in the desert without agriculture or flocks.
The elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, hyena, zebra, buffalo, gnu, quagga, kudu, eland and many other kinds of antelope roamed the plains; the rhinoceros, hippopotamus and crocodile lived in or frequented the rivers, and ostriches and baboons were numerous.
The ancient Greeks and Romans kept in captivity large numbers of such animals as leopards, lions, bears, elephants, antelopes, giraffes, camels, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses, as well as ostriches and crocodiles, but these were destined for slaughter at the gladiatorial shows.
Ostriches are found in the northern steppes.
It is decorated with designs in red line, imitating cordage and marbling, and drawings of plants, ostriches and ships.
Of the prehistoric age there are many rock carvings, associated with others of later periods: they principally remain on the sandstone rocks about Silsila, and their age is shown by the figures of ostriches which were extinct in later times.
Lichtenstein long ago remarked' that if it 1 A good summary of the present distribution is contained in the Ostriches and Ostrich Farming of De Mosenthal and Harting, from which the accompanying figure is, with permission, taken.
Were not for its numerous enemies "the multiplication of ostriches would be quite unexampled."
Though sometimes assembling in troops of from thirty to fifty, and then generally associating with zebras or with some of the larger antelopes, ostriches commonly, and especially in the breeding season, live in companies of not more than four or five, one of which is a cock and the rest are hens.
Andersson in his Lake N'gami (pp. 2 5326 9) has given a lively account of the pursuit by himself and Francis Galton of a brood of ostriches, in the course of which the male bird feigned being wounded to distract their attention from his offspring.
The nobles hunt antelopes with leopards, and giraffes and ostriches with horse and greyhound.
The number of domesticated ostriches in 1904 was 357,000, showing an increase of over 200,000 since 1891.
In the steppe regions of Kordofan, Darfur, &c., and in the Nubian Desert ostriches are fairly plentiful.
There are those who, like cormorants and ostriches, can digest all sorts of this, even after the fullest dinner of meats and vegetables, for they suffer nothing to be wasted.
Ostriches, undistinguishable from Struthio, have been found in Samos and in the Sivalik Hills.
Ostriches do well in the dry, arid valleys of the Tugela and Mooi `rivers.