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os"trich (ŏs"trich), n. [OE. ostriche, ostrice, OF. ostruche, ostruce, F. autruche, L. avis struthio; avis bird + struthio ostrich, fr. Gr. &unr_;, fr. &unr_; bird, sparrow. Cf. Aviary, Struthious.] [Formerly written also estrich.] (Zo&ö;l.) A large bird of the genus Struthio, of which Struthio camelus of Africa is the best known species. It has long and very strong legs, adapted for rapid running; only two toes; a long neck, nearly bare of feathers; and short wings incapable of flight. The adult male is about eight feet high.
&hand_; The South African ostrich (Struthio australis) and the Asiatic ostrich are considered distinct species by some authors. Ostriches are now domesticated in South Africa in large numbers for the sake of their plumes. The body of the male is covered with elegant black plumose feathers, while the wings and tail furnish the most valuable white plumes.
Ostrich farm, a farm on which ostriches are bred for the sake of their feathers, oil, eggs, etc. -- Ostrich farming, the occupation of breeding ostriches for the sake of their feathers, etc. -- Ostrich fern (Bot.) a kind of fern (Onoclea Struthiopteris), the tall fronds of which grow in a circle from the rootstock. It is found in alluvial soil in Europe and North America.