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Abstract

Since the first humans arrived on the continent of Australia, they have been in a symbiotic dance with the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). This member of the flightless ratite family is a testament to evolutionary adaptation and survival in harsh habitats. It has also played a key role in Aboriginal survival, as it is deeply rooted in Aboriginal mythology, culture, and medicine. The use of emu oil began with the Aborigines and its use is widespread today. The influence of the emu now reaches around the world. By virtue of its unique characteristics, the emu has been the subject of studies in contemporary evolutionary theory, phylogenetics, agriculture, and medicine.

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