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Scientific name:  Rhea americana
Class:  Birds
Continent:  South America
Habitat:   Mesetas
Diet:  Omnívoro
Weight:  15 - 30 kg
Size:  1 - 1,30 m
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Meet the Rhea!

The Rhea is a flightless bird found exclusively in  South America. Its legs, which end in three toes, are strong and adapted for running. Its plumage is grayish brown; like an ostrich, it has a long neck, a small head and a rather strong beak. They belong to southern America.

The rhea - also called a nandu - is unable to fly, but its whole body is adapted to running at high speed if it is in danger. It is a clumsy jumper, but a good swimmer if it needs to cross a watercourse.

What are its habits?

Male courtship extends to a group of between two and twelve females. The male rhea builds a nest for the eggs laid by the females, and is also in charge of incubating them for approximately 40 days.

They are omnivorous animals, feeding on seeds, grains, fruits, reptiles and small mammals. It is a gregarious species, capable of creating flocks of between 20 and 30 individuals (up to fifty specimens have even been seen together).

Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


In the reproductive season they tend to break up, due to competition between males. Males and females practice polygamy and polyandry, respectively.

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Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure

Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure