Emus escape from large predatory birds such as wedge-tailed eagles by running swiftly and constantly changing directions to protect their vulnerable heads and necks. On the other hand, emus don't run from dingoes, the Australian wolf-dogs, but rather leap into the air and kick at the dingoes with the sharp claws on their toes.

As emus are so large and swift, they have few natural predators. Most of their former predators are extinct. Dingoes, classified as a sub-species of wolf, try to attack emus by aiming for their heads. Though they are sometimes successful, their predation does not significantly reduce the emu population. Smaller raptors, monitor lizards and foxes are not large enough to threaten adult emus, but they sometimes target emu eggs and chicks.

Though the tiny wings of emus are relatively useless, they have long, powerful legs that enable them to run very swiftly. The only birds that have calf muscles, emus can run up to 30 miles an hour and leap up to seven feet into the air. Because they have sharp eyesight and outstanding agility, they can usually manage to evade airborne attacks. Emus typically remain solitary, but when migrating towards more abundant food sources they sometimes travel in large flocks, creating an effective deterrent to predators.