animalsOstriches coexist in nature with other animals native to the same African habitat.  In particular, these are other grazing animals like zebra or antelope. These species coexist with each other and have a commensal relationship.  One groups isn't directly harming or helping the other.  Due to their similar diets, but being different enough to not dramatically effect each population size.  The ostrich will migrate if it needs to find more nutrients.  The ostrich does have to watch out for predation.  The time when eggs are being laid is when the flock is most vulnerable.  Jackal and other native carnivores think that the ostrich is an easy target.  But these animals are in for a surprise when they come face to face with the ostrich and the adaptations it has adapted to protect itself from them.

The ostrich does provide food for other organisms.  In the wild, for carnivorous predators with meatit's eggs, or the meat on their bodies.  They also provide food for humans! The market for ostrich meat is growing more and more.  Ostrich meat has become quite popular because of it's quality and nutritional value.  Research has shown that it has a longer shelf like then other poultry, and the nutritional value is high.  Ostrich farms are now common, and it is showing up on more menus!  As a burger, steak, panini- the saying will soon be "tastes like ostrich!" instead of chicken.  This "new" form of meat is a very sustainable food source!  Nutritionally and economically, the ostrich is really starting to have the leg-up on other meat sources.

The other interactions we have with ostrich is using their tough skin for leathered goods.  This has also become a popular and product export as of late.  It is an exclusive leather.  Very durable and easy to work with, yet soft to the touch.  And because of the unique, billowing, feathers there are unique quill patterns.  Goods such as boots, handbags, wallets, belts, and other clothing are being made by this unique kind of leather.  There are many websites that offer ostrich leather treatments, and how to care for your new leather products. 


For decades now, ostriches have also been a form of entertainment.  They were used for racing and would have jockeys ride them, but that is not so common anymore.  There are still places where you can inquire about riding these giant birds, like the picture above.  If ostriches are in captivity and trained by humans, they can be gentle and interact with humans as any other pastor-type animal or even a pet!

Ostriches are being conserved, because sadly, they were over hunted and not protected.  The ostrich numbers are starting to increase again, but they are being watched in nature!  We all need to do our part to keep all organisms on earth healthy.  Awareness is one of the steps we can take to ensuring the ostrich does not become endangered!  They really are amazing, and are so interesting and they have fun facts about them.  Spread the word on the good ostriches can do for our population,  for other animal populations, to ensure they will be around in the future!

Learn more about human uses for ostrich from the neat site of the American Ostrich Association!