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Why do ostriches have wings?

September 10, 2008


up close and personal

Up close and personal at the ostrich farm

Okay, so I didn't get that close. But you can imagine if I would have....

Okay, so we didn't get that close. But you can imagine what would happen if we did....


Day 7 of our ethnographic road trip, we are traversing the highway between Phoenix and Tucson… getting sunburned through the windows and a little delirious from all the travel and too much caffeine. We see a small sign on the side of the highway… Ostrich Farm, Exit 219. The sign is so small and non-descript, we may have imagined it? We decide to check it out… not for any real reason, we are both actually a little appalled at the idea and look of an ostrich. MP doesn’t know if she’s ever even seen one in real life. I only remember one baring scary teeth at me at the zoo once as a child. But we’re tired of driving, and looking for to find some people to talk to… so we pull off. 2 miles down a dirt and rock road, we find the ostrich farm. To our despair or relief, it is closed. (and looks like it hasn’t been open for years). However, I spot a weirdly bald bobbing head over the fence a few yards away, and decide to take a look over the barb wire. The ostrich farm sprawled a mile long in front of me. They hang out in a massive group, too far away to make out any detail. However, one is pacing the fence near us – looking extremely pissed that he or she is stuck in the dessert while we emerge refreshed from the cool AC of our neon PT Cruiser. I immediately panic, thinking the crazy looking bird is going to take off after us, but then I remember that ostriches can’t fly. But then, why the wings? It seems like just another way the poor ostrich is being punished. Hideous face. Plucked for high end fashion hats and feather dusters. Stuck in the sweltering desert. And a totally useless 6 ft wingspan that can do nothing but scare the daylights out of two chicks with a digital camera. I am so interested in this condundrum, that I immediately look it up upon arrival at the hotel….only to find out that the ostrich’s wings are one of the biggest mysterys of the world. They are a true dinosaur, over 120 million years old. They are the fastest, largest, heavings bird on the planet and can run up to 40 miles an hour. They Why have wings, but cannot fly. Which leads me to wonder…why have those wings if you can’t fly? And if you can’t fly, are you really a bird?


I have no idea how to tie this to strategic thinking. Except possibly the fact that a+b does not always equal c, even in the most organized of the animal kingdom. There are exceptions to every rule. And things are not always what they seem. But really, I just wanted to write about ostriches. And show you how brave I was to get this close to one. That’s about as good as it gets tonight. Brain fried.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Crystal permalink*
    September 10, 2008 3:24 pm

    exceptions to every rule and a freaky ostrich work for me

  2. Chris permalink
    February 3, 2010 2:01 pm

    Ostrich’s don’t have teeth, nice try

  3. nunya permalink
    April 20, 2010 3:57 pm

    is tht a real pic??????????????????????????????????

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