Greater Rhea

Greater Rhea
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Infraclass: Palaeognathae
Clade: Notopalaeognathae
Superorder: Rheimorphae
Order: Rheiformes
Family: Rheidae
Genus: Rhea
Species: R. americana
Binomial name
Rhea americana
(Linnaeus, 1758)[2]

R. americana americana (Linnaeus, 1758)[2]
R. a. intermidia (Rotschild & Chubb, 1914)[2]
R. a. nobilis (Brodkorb, 1939)[2]
R. a. araneipes (Brodkorb, 1938)[2]
R. a. albescens (Arribálzaga & Holmberg, 1878)[2]

Rhea americana Distribuzione.jpg
Distribution of subspecies

The Greater Rhea, Rhea americana, is a flightless bird found in eastern South America. One of two species in the genus Rhea, in the family Rheidae, the Greater Rhea is endemic to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Other namesEdit

"Ostrich of South America".[3] Other names for the Greater Rhea include the Grey, Common, American Rhea, ñandú (Guaraní) or ema (Portuguese).


Greater Rhea is huge, and hefty ratite that's 1.70 m (5.6 ft) tall, with pale irides, base of neck and sides are blackish,[4] grey to brown and white in colour, which helps it to camouflage it.[3] Huge wings with long floppy feathers covering body.[4]

Like other ratites (large flightless birds), there is little difference between the sexes, except the male has a dark collar in the breeding season.[3] The juvenile has more grey in its plumage and is marked with dark stripes that disappear about six months after hatching.[3]

Similar speciesEdit

The Lesser Rhea is shorter.[3]







  1. Template:IUCN2011.1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Blake, Emmet Reid (1977). Manual of Neotropical Birds: Spheniscidae (penguins) to Laridae (gulls and allies). University of Chicago Press. pp. 8–9. ISBN 0-226-05641-4. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Frances, Peter; et al. (2007). Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide. Dorling Kindersley Inc. ISBN 1564582957. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Erize, Francisco; Mata, Jorge R. Rodriguez; Rumboli, Maurice (2006). A Field Guide to the Birds of South America Non-Passerines. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. ISBN 9780007150847. 

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit