The ostrich is the largest known bird – and one that can run up to 40 mph and has a kick powerful enough to bend steel rods — but it does not bury its head in the sand as a defense mechanism. When threatened, along with running and kicking, these creatures do try to hide, but they do so by laying flat on the ground. That said, from a distance their tiny heads can appear to be buried when they are lifting themselves up from the ground. But is the head actually inserted into the sand? Not at all.