What are the differences between the Greater Rhea and the Lesser Rhea?

What are the differences between the Greater Rhea (Rhea americana) and the Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata)?

The Greater Rhea and the Lesser Rhea are both large, flightless, ratite birds with long legs and a long neck, with a body of fluffy grey feathers.

The Greater Rhea is larger than the Lesser Rhea. 

Greater Rhea (left) and Lesser Rhea (right)

The Greater Rhea grows to 127-140 centimetres (50-55 inches) long from beak to tail, and 140-170 centimetres (55-67 inches) tall. The Greater Rhea is the largest bird in South America. The Lesser Rhea is 92-100 centimetres (36-39 inches) long and 90-100 centimetres (35-39 inches) tall.

The Greater Rhea is native to South America, in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and the Lesser Rhea is native to South America in the Patagonian steppes of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.

Greater Rhea (left) and Lesser Rhea (right)
Greater Rhea (left) and Lesser Rhea (right)
Greater Rhea
Lesser Rhea

[Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France, and Paris Zoo, France]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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