Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Rheiformes > Rheidae > Rhea > Rhea americana

Rhea americana (Greater Rhea)

Synonyms: Struthio americanus

Wikipedia Abstract

The greater rhea (Rhea americana) is a flightless bird found in eastern South America. Other names for the greater rhea include the grey, common, or American rhea; ñandú (Guaraní); or ema (Portuguese). One of two species in the genus Rhea, in the family Rheidae, the greater rhea is endemic to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. It inhabits a variety of open areas, such as grasslands, savanna or grassy wetlands. Weighing 20–27 kilograms (44–60 lb), the greater rhea is the largest bird in South America. In the wild, the greater rhea has a life expectancy of 10.5 years. It is also notable for its reproductive habits, and for the fact that a group has established itself in Germany in recent years. The species is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
View Wikipedia Record: Rhea americana


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 30.7901
EDGE Score: 4.1523


Adult Weight [1]  50.707 lbs (23.00 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  1.323 lbs (600 g)
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Frugivore, Granivore, Herbivore
Diet - Ectothermic [3]  10 %
Diet - Endothermic [3]  10 %
Diet - Fruit [3]  20 %
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  20 %
Diet - Plants [3]  20 %
Diet - Seeds [3]  20 %
Forages - Ground [3]  100 %
Female Maturity [4]  1 year 2 months
Male Maturity [4]  1 year 2 months
Clutch Size [5]  20
Incubation [4]  36 days


Protected Areas

Important Bird Areas

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Atlantic Forest Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay No
Cerrado Brazil No
Tropical Andes Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela No

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap


Harpyhaliaetus coronatus (Crowned Solitary Eagle)[7]
Speothos venaticus (Bush Dog)[8]


Parasitized by 
Ceratophyllus gallinae (European chicken flea)[9]
Dicheilonema rheae <Unverified Name>[10]
Dispharynx nasuta <Unverified Name>[10]
Strigea nugax <Unverified Name>[10]
Taenia tauricollis <Unverified Name>[10]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Range Map


South America;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Brown, C. R. 1997. Purple martin (Progne subis). In A. Poole, and F. Gill, eds. The Birds of North America. No. 287. Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, DC. 32pp.
2del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
6Comparatore, Viviana, and Cristina Yagueddú. Diet of the Greater Rhea (Rhea americana) in an agroecosystem of the Flooding Pampa, Argentina. Ornitologia Neotropical 18.2 (2007): 187-194.
7Crowned eagles rarely prey on livestock in central Argentina: persecution is not justified, José Hernán Sarasola, Miguel Ángel Santillán, Maximiliano Adrián Galmes, Endangered Species Research 11: 207–213, 2010
83.10 Bush dog, Speothos venaticus, G.L. Zuercher, M. Swarner, L. Silveira and O. Carrillo, Sillero-Zubiri, C., Hoffmann, M. and Macdonald, D.W. (eds). 2004. Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x + 430 pp.
9International Flea Database
10Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License