Emus are large birds. The largest can reach up to 150–190 cm (59–75 in) in height, 1–1.3 m (3.3–4.3 ft) at the shoulder. In length measured from the bill to the tail, emus range from 139 to 164 cm (55 to 65 in), with males averaging 148.5 cm (58.5 in) and females averaging 156.8 cm (61.7 in).
Emu eggshells have attracted the interest of handcrafters because of the unique outer layer of dark green, which provides an interesting base color for carving or scratch art. The middle layer of the egg is a light blue. Some crafters refer to it as turquoise, in contrast to the outer layer. The inner layer is white, and artists say it is this array of natural colors that makes the emu egg extremely challenging and desirable to work with. No added color is necessary although many crafters use acrylics, oils or hot-glued items to complement its appearance.