Cassowary: The Most Dangerous Bird On The Planet

The cassowary is one of the most interesting bird species. Mostly known as the most dangerous bird on the planet. The cassowary is a type of flightless bird (ratite) that belongs to the order of Casuariiformes. These long-legged, large birds are cousins to the emus and have 3 subspecies, the most common being the southern cassowary. They can be found in the tropical forests of New Guinea, the northeastern part of Australia, and the Aru Islands.

Image credit: Brian Gratwicke

Cassowary can jump 5 feet in the air from a standing position!

Image credit: awee_19

A dinosaur closely resembling a cassowary was recently discovered!

The first relatives of these birds are thought to have evolved around 60 million years ago, shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Furthermore, a dinosaur fossil that is strikingly similar to a cassowary was discovered in 2017. Even though they aren’t related, cassowaries still carry a lot of ancient traits, that can only be found in a few animals today.

Image credit: pete keogh

They can reach speeds of 30mph!

Photo by Ivan Phillipsen. Queensland, Australia

Their vivid blue faces with the two red wattles hanging from their necks make them look even more menacing. They also have a wide variety of alarming sounds, that include booms, hisses, rumbles, and roars. But what makes them truly dangerous are their strong legs, which end in three toes packed with sharp claws.

They are capable of packing an extremely powerful kick and each toe on their foot ends in a lethal claw that can reach a grisly 5 inches (12 centimeters). Their kick alone is enough to cause serious injuries, but the dagger-like claws can inflict even more severe injuries that can lead to death.


Did you know that cassowaries are the only large flightless bird adapted for life in the rainforest? The southern cassowary is the largest of the 3 species of cassowary and their feet have three toes with a stout claw, while the middle toe has a long dagger-like claw.