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Emu hunting
Title : Emu hunting Emu hunting
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Creator : Caire, Nicholas John, photographer
Date of creation : ca. 1871
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

A photograph of a sketch of a horseman hunting an emu.

A flightless bird, emus have long powerful legs which enable them to reach speeds of up to 50 km per hour, and a stride of up to 3 metres. An emu will run in a zig zag pattern if attacked from above, and at close quarters the birds are capable of powerful kicks. Emus were hunted by European settlers for food but also to remove them as a threat to farming or pastoral activities, where they competed with grazing stock for water. Emus were also hunted by the Aboriginal people for food; the bird's fat was a valuable commodity used for bush medicine, as a lubricant or waterproofing agent and mixed with ochre was used for body paint.

Female emus play no part in incubating the eggs, or in raising the chicks. The male does this alone, remaining on the nest for most of the 8-10 weeks required for hatching, and then raising them for up to two years.
Period : 1852-1883
Further reading :
Eastman, Maxine The life of the emu Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1969, c1968
Cayley, Neville W. What bird is that? revised by Terence R. Lindsey Dingley, Vic.: Redwood Editions, 2000
Internet links :



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