Ryan just opened up the gates. I think the Cassowary’s on its way out. Kinda nervous now. – All right. – Oh yeah, you don’t really think about it until the dinosaur’s actually coming towards you. Oh my gosh. It’s big. Is it bigger than you thought it would be? – It’s a dinosaur. Oh my gosh, this is crazy. Wait until you guys see this thing. Woah. Today I’m visiting Jungle Island, a interactive zoological park located on Watson Island in Miami, Florida, which is home to a plethora of animals from all around the world. And while most of my adventures take me off trail, today’s truly unique because I will be getting face to face with the most dangerous bird on the planet, the Cassowary. The one I will be working with on this episode is world famous for being extremely well tempered around humans.
However, that doesn’t mean I can let my guard down because this massive bird is armed with razor sharp claws and a powerful kick, which contains enough force to inflict a fatal blow. Getting this close to a creature that’s this prehistoric looking is pretty amazing. Look at how ancient looking that face is, and the coloration in the skin, the crest of the head. Wow, the crest is a lot bigger than I imagined it to be. And that’s hollow, right? – [Ryan] It is hollow, yeah. – But it’s still, it’s real fibrous, right? Like she could just like– – Very fibrous, yeah. – Ram me in the face with it, so I definitely have to be careful. – It’s very similar in density to a beak. – OK, so she’s running through the environment, she can kinda just keep her head down and break through all the underbrush. – Definitely, what they do is they stretch their neck out real long, which she’ll extend a few feet in front of their body as they’re running.
That’ll help push the branches away from the rest of her body as she runs. Now I’m not sure if you noticed this, but if you look around the side here, you’re gonna see these wings. Yes, little tiny wings. – [Ryan] Yeah, and they have really stiff quills. – Wow look at that. It almost looks like a porcupine’s quill. Look at the size of this bird’s legs. Look at all the scales. This bird weighs about 130 pounds. That is a massive animal. This is the second largest species of bird in the world, second only to the ostrich. And they’re incredibly fast, right? – They are extremely fast. They can run around 30 miles per hour through jungle underbrush. – Wow. And every little sound that we hear off screen here, her head immediately does this. And it’s just like a velociraptor that you’ve seen in Jurassic Park, the head going like this, turning from side to side.
It is so awesome to just watch this bird in action. I would say that the only thing this bird is missing is a tail. And if it had one, it really would be a dinosaur. Now, I would never be able to get this close to a Cassowary in the wild. And they can be very, very aggressive towards humans, so it’s very unique that I’m getting to be this close with this prehistoric looking creature today. I do wanna try to stay as calm as I possibly can so that she also stays calm.
But you can see she’s curious right now. She wants to know if I have anything in my hand, like an apple or some grapes. Hi, here you go. Look at the skin. You wouldn’t expect a bird to have bright blue skin like that, but it’s so beautiful. And here’s something you might not know, that the entire bird’s body is blue. If I just fold back those feathers a tiny bit, look at that.
Blue, all the way through. Their feathers are incredibly coarse. These ones on the outside here almost feel like horse hairs. And then underneath, she’s really soft and downy. When you look at the feet of this bird, look at those scales and look at the claws. It looks just like the foot of a velociraptor. And that claw on the inside edge of the foot, razor sharp. Now if this bird was out in the wild, it would actually be a couple inches longer and sickle shaped, just like a raptor. And these birds are capable of jumping almost six feet in the air. And I can’t even imagine how terrifying it would be to be out there in the jungle, have one of these cut through the underbrush, run at you, leap, and you take one of those claws to the face. When you look down the length of that beak and into those eyes, you transcend back 65 million years into the past, and you feel as if you were looking straight at a dinosaur.
Wow. That is intimidating right there. I’m Coyote Peterson, be brave, stay wild, we’ll see you on the next adventure. The Southern Cassowary’s considered to be the most dangerous bird in the world. And the only reason I was able to interact with this one is because it was raised in captivity.
Unfortunately, these omnivorous creatures are endangered in their native lands of Australia and Papua New Guinea, so the chance to get up close with this clever girl was an opportunity I wasn’t about to pass up. If you thought that was one wild adventure, check out the time I got up close with the fastest bird in the world, the peregrine falcon. And don’t forget, subscribe to join me and the crew on this season of Breaking Trail.
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