Southern Cassowary


scientific name

Phascolarctos cinereus

conservation status



30 - 60 Kilograms


Southern Cassowaries feed mainly on fruits, but will also eat fungi, insects, flowers, leaves and small ground dwelling animals.


Found in tropical rain-forest areas.

Southern Cassowaries belong to the family of flightless birds called Ratites, which includes the Ostrich, Emu, and the South American Rhea. The casque or helmet situated on the top of cassowaries head grows throughout their life and can reach 20 cm tall. There are many theories about what the casques are used for including being used as a stack hat when crashing through the forest, for fighting and for sexual selection; the casque also helps the cassowary transmit its call throughout the rainforest. When it comes to breeding the male cassowary have the responsibilities of egg incubation and raising the young, incubating the eggs for 50 days, and raising the young until they are independent at 1 year of age.