Physical Characteristics

Rheas are similar in general appearance to the ostrich, except for the fact that they are smaller and do not have the large tail feather plumes of ostriches. Rheas are 4.5 to 5.6 feet (1.3 to 1.7 meters) tall from their feet to the top of their back and weigh 55 to 88 pounds (24.75 to 40 kilograms). Their head, neck, and bodies are covered with soft, loose feathers that are gray or spotted brown and white.

They have long legs with three toes and wings with a claw on the end, an effective weapon against predators. Males are larger than females and the lesser rhea is smaller than the greater rhea.

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