The cassowary, a large flightless bird native to Australia, is best known for the helmet-like casque on its head. This casque looks like a large bony fin, but actually is a hollow structure made of keratin. Because the cassowary uses this casque to ram trees to knock down fruit, it is thought that the structure might provide much of the shock-absorbing qualities needed to keep the head safe. This analysis is a first look into this possibility.

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