Ostriches have never flown, but their ancestors likely did. Ostriches have developed a niche that does not necessitate flight. For example, Ostriches live in the African Savanah, where there are few trees (and fewer trees that could support such a large bird). Most of the food Ostriches eat are found on the ground. Some believe that descendants of Ostriches began losing their ability to fly after the dinosaurs became extinct. With the absence of most of their natural predators, Ostriches could eat more, become larger, and had less need for flight. Due to their large size, clawed feet, and ability to run up to 50 miles per hour, Ostriches certainly have other ways to escape predation. In fact, their legs are so powerful that their kicks could be fatal to humans or large cats.
A 2010 study by scientists at Australian National University concludes that ostrich ancestors could, in fact, fly. Once the dinosaurs died, they had fewer predators and more food supply. They became fatter and stopped flying. Eventually, they evolved into flightless birds.
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