What do Cassowaries eat?

What do Cassowaries eat?

Cassowaries feed on the fruits of rainforest trees and shrubs. The birds collect most of these from the ground, using their bill and sometimes their casque to unearth the fallen fruit from the litter of the forest floor. As the cassowaries travel, they disperse the seeds of these fruits throughout the rainforest, thus ensuring the continuance of more than 150 species of rainforest plants. In a study of the southern cassowary in north Queensland, Australia, the fruits of laurels, myrtles, and palms were most important. Opportunistically, the birds will take fungi, insects, and small vertebrates, but the basic diet consists of fruit. Disturbance of the forest can have serious consequences for cassowaries. Selective logging can remove almost all of one species of tree, so that the crop of fruit from that species is missing from the forest. If the fruit of this tree forms a significant part of the cassowary’s diet, it will be left without food for weeks or months and suffer accordingly. Selective logging damages the bird’s habitat more subtly than clear cutting, but equally seriously.