A pair of ostriches courting in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa
© Tina Malfilatre/Minden Picture
Stellar dads and unusual lovers
It's April Fools' Day and we take you to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa, where two ostriches can be seen displaying courting behaviour. Do you know these birds are stellar dads! Only males take care of the chicks and incubate the eggs in all ratites except for ostriches and kiwi, whose females also care for their young. In ostriches, each male has a primary female who takes turns incubating eggs with him, even though other females will lay eggs, potentially from different males, in the same nest. So the idea that males really need to be sure of their paternity before they will provide care is not necessarily a universal thing. Additionally, having many eggs in a nest is advantageous because a predator can’t steal all of them, so some of your eggs might survive!