There are or have been ostriches in big parts of arid and semi-arid Africa, from Egypt and Morocco to the southern Cape. Feeble-winged and fast-running, the bird looking down upon you from a commanding height can rip you open in one kick.
Its long and sharply pointed, bony hard toenail may make contact with the face of a standing adult before the lightning fast downward movement that does the real damage. There is a story of an ostrich kicking a horseman from the saddle; maybe a rural legend, but negligence may cause number two!
Fighting males, a common sight in the breeding season when their shins, toes and beaks are red, do not kill each other too easily. Concealed under the short feathers on the chest is a thick, porous breastbone absorbing the hits when they bump into each other, as well as the many violent kicks, until the tiny birdbrains forget when stomach messages concerning food overwhelm them (Riëtte, 2016; Goldie, 1964; Wikipedia).
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