How Fast Can an Ostrich Run?

How Fast Can an Ostrich Run?

Ostriches are known for their impressive size and unique physical characteristics, including their long legs and neck. These birds are native to Africa and are the largest living birds in the world. In addition to their size, ostriches are also known for their impressive speed, and are able to run at impressive speeds over short distances. In this article, we will explore the running speed of ostriches and the factors that contribute to their speed.

Ostrich Anatomy and Physiology

Ostriches are built for running, with long legs and a streamlined body that allows them to reach high speeds. Their legs are much longer than those of other birds, and they have only two toes on each foot, which gives them a larger surface area to push off from when running. Ostriches also have a flexible spine and a lightweight body, which helps them move quickly and efficiently.

Ostrich Running Speed

Ostriches are able to run at speeds of up to 45 mph (72 kph) over short distances. They are able to maintain this speed for about a minute before they need to rest. However, they can sustain slower running speeds for longer periods of time, and are able to cover great distances at a steady pace. Ostriches are also able to change direction quickly, which helps them evade predators.

How Fast Can an Ostrich Run?

Factors Affecting Ostrich Running Speed

There are several factors that can affect the running speed of an ostrich. These include the terrain they are running on, their age and size, and their level of fitness. For example, ostriches are able to run faster on flat terrain than on hilly or uneven ground. They are also able to run faster when they are younger and smaller, as they are more agile and lightweight. Finally, the level of fitness of an ostrich can affect their running speed, as a fit and healthy ostrich is more likely to be able to run faster than one that is not in good shape.


Ostriches are impressive runners, able to reach speeds of up to 45 mph over short distances. Their anatomy and physiology, as well as the terrain they are running on and their level of fitness, can all affect their running speed. These birds are a fascinating and unique species, and their speed and agility make them well-suited to their natural habitat in Africa.


Q1. How fast can an ostrich run?

Ans: An ostrich can run at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kilometers per hour).

Q2. Is an ostrich the fastest bird?

Ans: No, the peregrine falcon is the fastest bird, with speeds of up to 240 miles per hour (386 kilometers per hour) when diving for prey.

Q3. Can an ostrich outrun a human?

Ans: Yes, an ostrich can outrun a human, as the average human running speed is around 15 miles per hour (24 kilometers per hour).

Q4. How long can an ostrich run at top speed?

Ans: An ostrich can run at top speed for short distances, typically around a quarter of a mile (400 meters) before needing to rest.

Q5. Do ostriches run on two legs or four?

Ans: Ostriches run on two legs, using their wings for balance and steering. They only use their legs for running, while they use their wings while they are in full flight.