Photo by Olivier Matthys



Cassowary chicks are different in appearance than the adults; they have a striped brown and crème pattern.


After three to six months the stripes fade away and leave the dull brown color of the subadults. At twelve to eighteen months the adult characteristics begin to appear. Maturity is attained for females at 3&1/2 years, and for males at 2&1/2 years. Cassowaries are generally solitary aside from the breeding season and at times when fallen fruit is plentiful. Although generally not territorial, aggression increases during the breeding season. The dominant sex is females. The lifespan is around 30 years for wild cassowary. The mating season ranges from June to September.


The Southern cassowary females are polyandry and thus mate with more than one male per breeding season. Females lay three to five eggs between the months of June and October. Males incubate the eggs for approximately fifty days and raise the young on their own without the aid of the female for approximately nine to eighteen months until the next breeding season when the juveniles leave the supervision of the male.


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