The cassowary is a large, odd-looking bird that lives in the thick forest of Australia and New Guinea. A fully grown cassowary may be five feet tall and weigh two pounds or more.
Like the African relative the ostrich, the cassowary cannot fly. All that remains of its flight feathers are a few spiny quilts, but it can sprint at speeds of at nearly 40 miles per hour for its long powerful legs, when it danger.
A bony helmet on its featherless head helps it butt through the heavy underbrush. Tough bristle like feathers that cover it body serve as a form of armor as it crashes headlong the forest.
A threatened cassowary can be a dangerous foe. All three of the toes on each foot are armed with knife-sharp claws which can be a deadly weapon in a flight. Usually, these shy birds are heard more often than soon in their dense forest home. They call by snorting and bellowing. – Dick Rogers