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Ostrich

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Ostritch

OstrichEdit

Granted, riding a giant bird sounds like something out of a fantasy video game, but the ostrich is large and strong enough to carry a human for a long while, and ostrich racing has become a popular sport in some areas of the world. There are a number of advantages to using ostriches as a mount. Despite being goofy looking, Ostriches are surprisingly tough birds, able to tolerate a wider range of temperatures and able to traverse a much wider variety of terrains than horses, from the chilling winters of Finland to the scalding heat of the Sahara. They are An Ostrich Race. They are also very fast, able to carry a human rider at speeds of 35 m.p.h. The birds feed mostly on insects and plant matter, such as grasses, seeds and shrubs, and can go without water for up to 3 days in desert environments and can fast for up to two weeks. Thanks to their long necks, large eyes and good hearing, the bird can detect predators from a long distance off, which could serve as a good early-warning system against zombies for the rider. And in a pinch, the ostrich can fight, able to disembowel or smash a skull in a single kick, and have the power to peck through car windows. And if worse comes to worse, ostrich meat tastes like lean beef, its feathers make for good bedding and insulation, and its hide makes possibly the toughest leather available...assuming you have access to means to either cook the meat or remove it in such a way that it prevents bacteria contamination, the necessary tools to successfully and effectively extract feathers, and the skills and tools of a leatherworker, respectively. Which, if you're being forced to eat your ostrich-mount, you probably don't have. Unfortunately, there are some problems. First, ostriches are difficult to ride, due to the irascible temperament and the difficulties encountered in saddling the birds, and it takes considerable skill to stay on. Second is their notorious habit of eating anything, and while they know enough to refrain from consuming zombie flesh, it still means you have to make sure they don’t suffocate trying to swallow a discarded beer can. Ostriches are not pack animals, so trying to carry too much equipment and supplies will quickly tire the bird. Also, unless you raised the bird straight from the egg, it’s very possible the bird might try to knock you off and kick you to death, and they can also turn around and peck your eyes out even if you’re on its back. Finally, as with all animals, unless given considerable Z Shock training, the big bird is likely to bolt like a frightened chicken at the first sign of the undead (and no, they ‘’won’t’’ stick their heads in the ground). Or, if you're unlucky, it will try and kill you in a fit of fear-induced frenzy.

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