The name cassowary comes from the Malay name kesuari (Gotch 1995).
A fossil species was reported from Australia, but for reasons of biogeography this assignment is not certain and it might belong to the prehistoric "emuwaries," Emuarius, which were cassowary-like primitive emus.
The one documented human death caused by a cassowary was that of Phillip Mclean, aged 16 years old, and it happened on April 6, 1926.
Cassowary attacks occur every year in Queensland, Australia.
Cassowary strikes to the abdomen are among the rarest of all, but there is one case of a dog that was kicked in the belly in 1995.
Germination rates for seeds of the rare Australian rainforest tree Ryparosa were found to be much higher after passing through a cassowary's gut (92 versus 4 percent) (Weber and Woodrow 2004).
Cassowaries are largely frugivorous; fallen fruit, such as the cassowary plum and fruit on low branches is the mainstay of their diet.
The 2007 edition of the Guinness World Records lists the cassowary as the world's most dangerous bird.
The southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) is the third largest flightless bird on the planet, smaller only than the ostrich and emu.
The southern cassowary is endangered in Queensland, Australia.