Author Topic: Radical new emu theory  (Read 1504 times)

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Offline KeithB

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Radical new emu theory
« on: April 30, 2018, 09:14:03 AM »
My wife and I just got back to Sydney after doing the Darling River run. On the track south out of Mungo, we were motoring along at about 80 kph when a big emu came out of nowhere and ran flat out into the side of our camper trailer.

Subsequent observations of emus doing a runner during the trip suggested that, when sufficiently startled, an emu will run in whatever direction it is facing at the time. It won't look to see where the danger is coming from and then scarper in the opposite direction. It will just take off like a 100 metre sprinter in whatever direction it is facing.

Is there any truth in this radical new emu theory?

Keith
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Offline sharkcaver

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 10:09:10 AM »
No idea about the theory, but it sounds about right. I had one chasing me through the desert a couple of weeks back.

These birds have a small head - and obviously, a small brain. I think the only way they have evolved over the millennia to still stand is due to their numbers.
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Online GBC

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 10:28:27 AM »
Unfortunately no, they can also put on a sidestep any 5/8 would be proud of, and when the tryline is a random concept, guessing where they will change direction to is also a lottery.
I'd love to be able to know/guess which way various members of our native fauna are going to move next but I reckon I've guessed wrong as many times as I've guessed correctly.
There is however another very robust theory linking wildlife and 4wd accessories - if you have no bullbar, you hit them with your bonnet, then when you buy a bullbar they run/hop straight into your side panels (or trailer). This theory I believe is based on solid research and is more often than not proved.  ;D

Offline Hoyks

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 11:00:07 AM »
I think they generally run in the direction their body is pointing. Because the head is so distant from the body and can easily be out by 180 degrees, they haven't got the spatial awareness to combine the head orientation, body orientation and threat direction vectors together and get a viable solution.

They'll just start running and sort out what direction a bit later.
I've seen them looking sideways and still run into a tree or the side of a header at full tilt, both things that don't move particularly quickly.

Offline HEM19X

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 11:48:00 AM »
Emus are dumber than sheep..... never trust them...
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Online Pottsy

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 12:54:39 PM »
Emus are dumber than sheep..... never trust them...
X 2
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Offline Rodt

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 01:00:57 PM »
Extremely funny to watch when the go a over t though. Saw one go down a table drain once like a ball with dangly bits attached and flopping all over the place

Offline KeithB

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 03:55:57 PM »
On reflection, I am inclined to agree with Hoyks who says that emus when startled run in the direction that their body is pointing.
You see a lot of dead kangaroos and the occasional wombat on the side of the road and a sheep now and then. Maybe a rare cow or fox. But I have never seen a dead emu or a dead goat. Everyone in the bush says that goats are smart. So maybe emus are smarter than they look.
Food for thought I guess.
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Offline Desert lover

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 05:25:20 PM »
We have seen quite  a number of dead emus in both outback S.A; NSW  and Qld. unpredicatble  b###!!S of things they are.  They can become quite territorial if nesting or caring for chicks and will chase you!  As an emu farmer explained once:  "They are 50% feathers, 50% eyes and the rest is brain......
 
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Offline Hoyks

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2018, 06:47:05 PM »
My brother in law collected one on the Hay Plain.

He was motoring along a bit over the ton and spotted one in the scrub....
"Look kids! An Emu. You always have to be careful when you see one as they never travel alone, there will always be another close... BANG!"

Broke a headlight, cracked the windscreen and it went over the roof and hit the van. Although they pack a lot of padding, it wasn't going to walk that off.

Offline geopaj

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2018, 07:45:41 PM »

You see a lot of dead kangaroos and the occasional wombat on the side of the road and a sheep now and then. Maybe a rare cow or fox. But I have never seen a dead emu or a dead goat. Everyone in the bush says that goats are smart.

Goats are but I’ve seen both as roadkill (in order - Roos, then emus, and the occasional goat)... all spotted this week in large quantities between Cunnamulla / Broken Hill / Adelaide.
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Offline Fizzie

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2018, 08:00:53 AM »
So maybe emus are smarter than they look.
Food for thought I guess.

Yep, very interesting theory ???

Think I'll put in for a research grant of a couple of $mill over 5 years to look into this once & for all ??? Of course, that will involve a lot of on-site research at various locations all over Oz... 8)
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Offline KeithB

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2018, 08:36:28 AM »
Hey Fizzie, if you can tie your emu research to "clean coal" and coral bleaching the money's in the bag.
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Offline Fizzie

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2018, 09:25:17 AM »
Oh yes, just from the description of the problem I can already tell that it's undoubtedly tied in with CO2 emissions, & I'm pretty certain wind farms are involved, together with the reflection off solar farms. High salinity in the Murray - Darling system also looks to be a factor. & yes, coral bleaching would also be involved as that effects the quality of the water right along the CQ / FNQ coast, so that will also need to be checked :D

Hmmm ??? It's starting to look like 5 years & $2mill may not be enough so may have to double that :D

May also need a few assistants ??? Anybody interested, or know someone that may be ??? >:D
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Offline Hoyks

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Re: Radical new emu theory
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2018, 09:53:34 AM »
In '32 they declared war on them in WA.... it didn't go as planned.

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/blogs/on-this-day/2016/11/on-this-day-the-emu-wars-begin