What do emus eat?

What do emus eat?

Emus feed on nutritious parts of plants, fruits, seeds, flowers, and green shoots. They also take grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars, often in great quantities. In order to grind up hard material, emus eat pebbles and stones. Individual stones may weigh 0.1 lb (45 g) and individual gizzards may contain 1.6 lb (745 g) of mineral material. Experiments in a zoo, where emus were fed marbles, showed that such hard materials could be retained in the gizzard for over 100 days. It was thought that this might be a useful method of marking the birds, getting them to eat marbles of different colors at different sites, but the method failed because the bird’s bill was too weak to pick up the marbles. Emus also eat quantities of charcoal, but the function of this material is unknown. Emus exhibit very strong specific search images, concentrating on one food even though alternative foods are readily available. They also move great distances searching for food.