Emus & Cassowaries
Print Emus & Cassowaries Reading Comprehension with Sixth Grade Work
Print Emus & Cassowaries Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 6 to 8
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||dagger-like, double-wattled, horn-like, knife-like, single-wattled, spongy, emus, contenders, despite, prove, indicate, wounds, cassowary, mainly, compete, dislike
French: Les émeus et casoars
Spanish: Emús y Casuarios
German: Emus & Kasuare
Emus & Cassowaries
1 In Australia, there are two birds that could compete for the title of the world's second-largest bird. Both birds stand around 6 feet tall. Both weigh about 130 pounds. Both birds - emus and cassowaries - are strong contenders to stand behind ostriches and be named the second largest bird on Earth. Just like ostriches, emus and cassowaries are also flightless. Their wings are too small to carry their heavy weights into the sky. But emus and cassowaries swim well, run fast (more than 30 miles per hour), and jump high (5 feet)!
2 Despite many similarities, there are several faint differences between emus and cassowaries. First is the cassowaries' gray helmets (called "casques"). These horn-like but soft and spongy crests are wedge-shaped and grow to be about 7 inches long. We cannot be sure what their casques are for. Some scientists think that casques protect cassowaries' heads from getting scratched and bumped when they run through dense tropical forests. Others disagree. They point out that if this were true, then cassowaries would hatch with casques on their heads. Instead, the birds grow them when they are close to the adulthood. Some scientists believe that cassowaries use their casques to communicate with other birds. Casques may also indicate that the birds are adults. They may also be used as weapons against their enemies.
3 Wattles mark the second major difference between emus and cassowaries. Emus have no wattles. Two out of three cassowary species do. The cassowary that lives in Australia has two wattles dangling from its throat. This makes it easy to tell if the bird that you see in Australia is an emu or a cassowary. The southern cassowary (or the double-wattled cassowary) lives in both Australia and New Guinea. The northern cassowary (or the single-wattled cassowary) and the dwarf cassowary live only in New Guinea.
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