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How Hard Can Ostriches Kick?

Ostriches kick with a force of about 2,000 pounds per square inch (141 kg per square cm) — that's more than twice as hard as elite boxers hit. Besides the force of their kicks, ostriches also have sharp talons on their feet, and the talons are about 4 inches (about 10.2 cm) long. An ostrich kick can kill a human, a dog or a fully grown lion.

More facts about ostriches:

  • Ostriches don't actually bury their heads in the sand, though they do hunker down on the ground sometimes to try to camouflage themselves.

  • Most fully grown ostriches are about 6 to 9 feet (about 1.8 to 2.7 m) tall, and can weigh up to 350 lbs (about 159 kg). Much of their height comes from their legs, which can cover up to 16 feet (about 4.9 meters) per stride.

  • Ostriches also have the largest eyes of any terrestrial animal. Their eyes are almost 2 inches (50.8 mm) in diameter.

  • Although cheetahs have a faster maximum speed than ostriches, ostriches can outrun cheetahs over long distances. They can run at about 30 mph (about 48.3 km/hr) over extended distances and can sprint at speeds of about 40 mph (about 64.4 km/hour).
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