How Big is an Ostrich Brain?

The brain is a crucial component for animals, birds, and humans alike. However, it’s natural to wonder about the size of brains in different species. It’s not uncommon to be curious about the size of an ostrich’s brain when we see these magnificent creatures. Interestingly, ostrich brains are smaller than their eyes, with their eyes measuring an impressive 5 inches in diameter. In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of ostrich brains and how their large brain size benefits them. You’ll learn about the unique characteristics of ostrich brains & we’ll also compare ostrich brain size with different birds and animals.


How Big is an Ostrich Brain?

An ostrich’s brain is relatively small compared to its body size, especially its eyes. Research studies indicate that the average diameter of an ostrich brain is 4.23 cm, with a weight of up to 26 grams. One interesting fact about ostriches is that their eyes are typically larger than those of other birds, measuring over 5 cm in diameter.

Despite being taller than many other birds, the ostrich has an impressive brain that allows it to thrive in nature. Interestingly, ostriches have three stomach compartments, and their brain is responsible for regulating both their body parts and digestive system. This unique combination of physical and cognitive abilities makes the ostrich a truly remarkable animal in our environment.

Functions and Capabilities of the Ostrich Brain:

Ostrich flock

Survival tactics:

The ostrich brain is also responsible for survival instincts, prioritizing responses to potential threats. It processes sensory information to detect danger, enabling quick reactions such as fleeing or defensive behavior. We know that ostriches have the largest eyes of any bird species, capable of seeing up to 2 kilometers, thanks to their brains.

Running Abilities:

The ostrich brain controls its speed ability to run at high speeds, allowing it to reach up to 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). The interesting thing is that dogs can run at a maximum speed of only 15 to 20 miles per hour. While German Shepherds are known for their speed, capable of running up to 48 kilometers per hour, Greyhounds are renowned for their exceptional running abilities. In fact, Greyhounds can run at a speed of up to 45 miles per hour, which is faster than an ostrich!

Visual Acuity:

Ostriches have an impressive eyesight that allows them to spot predators or prey from a distance of 2 to 3 km as I mentioned earlier. Additionally, they can see in the dark up to 50 meters away. Interestingly, eagles also have a remarkable ability to spot prey from a distance of 3 meters while flying, which is comparable to the ostrich’s eyesight.

Learning Ability:

The ostrich brain, although not as complex as that of parrots, pigeons, and crows, but capable of facilitating learning and adaptation to changing environments. It allows for some level of memory and learning from the environment.

Basic Cognitive Abilities:

Ostrich’s brain handles essential cognitive functions such as decision-making and basic problem-solving, though not as sophisticated as in some higher-IQ animals.

How long is an ostrich memory?

Ostriches have relatively short-term memories, lasting around 10 seconds, according to This means they can remember things for a very brief period compared to some other animals. It’s worth noting that the ostrich is not the only bird that has a small memory. Chimpanzees are also known for their worst memory span of about 10 seconds. And Another interesting thing is that some living organism on land also has less than a 10-second memory lifespan, like bees and hamsters have a memory span of up to 2 & 3 seconds, respectively.

But, it doesn’t mean that these animals can’t survive in their environment. Their memory helps them in immediate tasks, like locating food or recognizing threats in their surroundings, but it doesn’t retain information for the long term. They rely more on quick instincts and sensitive senses to navigate their environment than rely on long-term memory.

Some Interesting Facts:

ostrich's eggs & chicks

Here are a few more interesting facts about ostriches:

  • Size and Speed: When considering the largest and fastest bird on land, the ostrich is the first that comes to mind. Well, Ostriches are the largest and the fastest runners but flightless birds on land & can run at speeds up to 64 km/h (40 mph) and stand 6.9-9ft (2.1 to 2.7 m) tall.
  • Egg Size: After holding the title of largest & fastest bird on land, the ostrich also holds the title for laying the biggest eggs on land among Oviparous species. They lay the largest eggs of any bird species. Ostrich eggs weigh up to 3 pounds (1.4 kg), with a size equivalent to about twenty (20) duck eggs, because one duck egg is equal to 70 grams. So, 20 duck eggs is equal to one ostrich egg. Have an interesting?
  • Dietary Habits: Ostriches eat various items, including plants, seeds, insects, and small reptiles, so they are called omnivores. After eating these types of food, ostrich meat becomes highly nutritious due to its abundance of high-quality proteins.
  • Nesting Habits: Female ostriches typically lay 1-2 eggs per week during their breeding season from September to April. These eggs are laid in communal nests, where a single female and male incubate them during the day.



How intelligent are ostriches?

Ostriches are not as intelligent as some other birds, but their intelligence is enough for survival. Their intelligence just revolves around displaying problem-solving abilities, recognizing individual group members, and exhibiting social behaviors within their flocks.

Do ostriches have extraordinary abilities due to their brain size?

Yes. ostrich can see prey or predators far from 2 km away and can run as fast as 40 mph.

How many brains does an ostrich have?

Ostriches typically have one brain that is smaller than their eyes.

How big is an ostrich’s brain in feet?

The brain of an ostrich has a width of 0.13 feet and a length of 0.19 feet.

How big is an ostrich brain in inches?

The ostrich brain measures 5.9 cm in length and 4.23 cm in width.

Is an ostrich’s eye bigger than its brain?

The short answer is absolutely “yes.” The ostrich’s eyes have a diameter of 5 cm, while its brain width is 4.23 cm. So, their eyes are bigger than their brains.

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