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Temporal range: Miocene-Holocene, 23–0 Ma
Ostriches cape point cropped.jpg
Common ostrich (Struthio camelus), male and female
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Struthioniformes
Family: Struthionidae
Genus: Struthio
Linnaeus, 1758[1]
Type species
Struthio camelus
Linnaeus, 1758

Struthio coppensi
Struthio linxiaensis
Struthio orlovi
Struthio wimani
Struthio brachydactylus
Struthio asiaticus Asian ostrich
Struthio dmanisensis
Struthio oldawayi
Struthio molybdophanes Somali ostrich
Struthio camelus Common ostrich

Struthio camelus - MHNT

Struthio is a genus of bird in the order Struthioniformes. Both living species are called ostriches.


There are ten known species from this genus, of which eight are extinct. There are five more possible species of which trace fossils have been found. They are:

The earliest fossils from this genus are from the early Miocene (20–25 mya), and are from Africa, so it is proposed that they originated there. Then by the middle to late Miocene (5–13 mya) they had spread to Eurasia.[4] By about 12 mya they had evolved into the larger size of which we are familiar. By this time they had spread to Mongolia and, later, South Africa.[5]


The genus Struthio used to include the emu, rhea and cassowary, until they each were placed in their own genera.[1] The Somali ostrich, Struthio molybdophanes, has recently become recognized as a separate species by some authorities, while others are still reviewing the information.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b Gray, G.R. (1855)
  2. ^ Janz, Lisa; et al. (2009). "Dating North Asian surface assemblages with ostrich eggshell: Implications for palaeoecology and extirpation". Journal of Archaeological Science. 36 (9): 1982–1989. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2009.05.012. 
  3. ^ J. G. Andersson, Essays on the cenozoic of northern China. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of China (Peking), Series A, No. 3 (1923), pp. 1–152, especially pp. 53–77: "On the occurrence of fossil remains of Struthionidae in China."; and J. G. Andersson, Research into the prehistory of the Chinese. Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 15 (1943), 1–300, plus 200 plates.
  4. ^ Hou, L. et al. (2005)
  5. ^ Davies, S.J.J.F. (2003)
  6. ^ Gil, F. & Donsker D. (2012)
  7. ^ Birdlife International (2012)