… I can run the pants off a kangaroo! (Old Man Emu, John Williams)
He does have wings, but they are too small for flying. We don’t have any emus in our area, but in the national park near Woody Head on the coast you used to see them occasionally crossing the road. Somehow they looked wrong there – probably because of all those documentaries showing them in the outback deserts where they look right at home.
These birds aren’t found anywhere else in the world, but rheas and ostriches are related to them, all being in a group called “ratites“. The African ostrich is the tallest ratite (about 3 metres tall), with the emu being next (about 2 metres tall). The New Zealand kiwi is the smallest ratite. New Zealand also used to have several species of flightless moas, but they’re gone, too. Australia has another ratite, the cassowary, endangered because of habitat loss in Far North Queensland.
By the way, in case you’re wondering it’s pronounced “e-mew”, not “e-moo”. And it can sure run the pants off you.