10 amazing facts about owls
Owls differ from other birds. These few anthropomorphic winged creatures - conquerors of the night, while almost all other birds live in daylight. You think you know a lot about the owls, you may think you know a lot about the owls, however, a lot of information is posture our knowledge. And our wise friends have a lot of interesting stories that can be shared.
Special blood flow
Owls vary greatly in size, shape and coloration, but they all have one thing in common: the ability to turn his head 270 degrees. To accomplish this task, their necks are made up of 14 vertebrae, while, as in "normal" there are seven birds. If the cervical vertebrae provide a range of motion, many creatures - like people - have suffered from arterial traumatic injuries and blood flow interruption at such extreme movements.
In an attempt to understand how this is possible, the researchers found that the owls have special systems for collecting blood supply to the brain and eye, when the movement of the neck to cut off blood circulation. Another amazing thing owls - this is an alternative route of blood through the blood vessels, as well as the protection of vessels of the "air cushion" to prevent vascular rupture and stroke during sudden head movements.
Cannibalism technically refers to the act of predation against swarms of members of their own species. And it may come as a shock for the novice birdwatcher, owls do not really eat away their relatives various kinds. Great horned owls are indeed a major threat to small striped owls. In turn, striped owl eating its smaller neighbors. It is believed that the expansion of the spread striped owls from southeastern swamps in the Pacific north-west part there is a reduction of the population of western screaming owl, because eating one another. In addition to owls there are a few bird species that actively hunt them for food. Fortunately, you can help: If you're one of those people who listen to bird calls - stop. These records can give location owls, as they respond to that kind of music.
The vision of owls is quite unusual. Their eyes are very large and very close to each other. Eyes of owls completely motionless, and they can not be called "eyeball" in all fairness, because in fact they are tubular. Binocular vision owls allows them to fully concentrate on the extraction and increases their depth perception. Nevertheless, it makes owls more vulnerable to predators - owls and other angry crowds songbirds. Owls head can rotate 270 degrees, which compensates for their direct vision and staring eyes.
Owls most that neither is a carnivorous bird in the world. Occupying only a small fraction of all the birds in the world, these nocturnal hunters will not stoop to eating carrion in most cases. However, one of the species is quite unique in its kind. As an exception among all the species of owls, owl elf include in your diet is not only small animals, but also the fruit, seeds and parts. These owls so "cultured" muck around nests, in an attempt to attract dung beetles. These enterprising "birds of prey", seems to approve of the prickly pear fruit (cactus) and cactus fruit tasadzhillo as part of their diet is not very predatory.
Many owls are not uhayut not shout
According to the stereotype, owls uhayut sure, but many of the species are not uhayut general. Snowy owl in the north gave a cry, like the cries of seabirds, which is very different from the usual hooting owls. Little owls, such as the Pygmy Owl dull hiss. The most terrible example of this is screaming owl. She does not cry at all, but it produces a series of loud, sharp, whistling whistles. The cries of young great horned owls sometimes falsely mistaken for the sound of a screaming owl.
They hunt larger prey than you think
eagle owls are the largest winged hunters on the planet, they are large and incredibly fierce. They eat almost everything and at nothing stop. Owl can hunt adult vervet monkeys (marmosets), and the hunting of young boars - is not a problem. They also attack the fish-eating owls, the same size as the owls. European eagle owl, such as fierce as their African relatives and destroyed the usually impregnable eagles.
According to one report, even the owl attacked the young wolf, while the young deer and even a fox owls attacked regularly. Also owl attacked the huge bird Secretary, eating cobras. They were eaten by herons, but the strangest love owls expressed meat urchins, which dominates the owl diet unless urchins caught. While many types of fear spines of hedgehogs, this owl uses its massive, scaly claws and pulls away the needle urchin.
They live in cacti
In the Sonoran desert, North America, Saguaro cactus can grow more than 10 meters in height and form whole forests. The holes that are hammering melanerpes nest elf owl, cactus settle in and look out from there, flashing his bright yellow eyes. The cactus forest is also home to other small owls - ginger pygmy owl. They are more aggressive, and also eat birds settle into a cactus. Huge horned owls are also very often nest in a cactus.
Owls and human culture.
While the stereotype of "wise owl" is well known, owls can be seen as demonic symbols or harbingers of doom. Also often referred to the involvement of owls to witchcraft. Even owls have risen to prominence in popular culture, such as the famous Hedwig, snowy owl in the Harry Potter films.
In addition to cultural values, owls used by people in sport falconry. OWL can be tamed to the glove and pursue the prey, such as birds. As a rule, owl like a cat - are nocturnal and poorly amenable to training. At that time, both in Europe only a few large owl used as a companion in the hunt, their participation as bait on falconry is more common. Hated and persecuted by hawks, owls tied to roost - excellent bait for the enemy.
Owls often referred to as "bird hunters" but these birds hunting at night have nothing to do with the hawks, eagles and falcons, which are also known as the day the hunters. Systematics - the science of controversial and changeable, but both: a model of classification of birds Sibley-Ahlquist (Sibly-Alquist) and alternative methods of determining ancestry owls family river kingfishers, hummingbirds and even songbirds passerines (such as swallows), but not hawks. Hawks and other birds of prey, the leading daily lifestyle, are more primitive branches of the origin of birds, and are relatives of Crane, Heron and other birds, which look a bit prehistoric. Despite the fact that their appearance is similar to the hawkish, owls are in a very close relationship with modest real Nighthawks. Similarity in appearance of owls and birds of prey, the leading daily lifestyle are obvious, especially when fluffs owl feathers and reveals his big beak, like a hawk. However, the reason for this similarity is the convergent evolution, rather than family ties. Birds of prey, the leading daily and nocturnal occupy similar ecological niches, but avoid competition by hunting at different times
They are silent killers
A significant role in the fact that owls are such effective predators, plays incredibly well-developed hearing and thus the ability to remain completely silent. However, this requires quite interesting adaptations. Special hooks on the outer wing feathers owl silencers act as air flow, while the "fluff 'at the rear edge of the flight provides a silent, allowing owl suddenly attack behind an unsuspecting victim.
In order to reach the top of auditory perception, owls spit on conventional concepts symmetry animals. Several species of owls ears are arranged asymmetrically and are at different levels of the bird's head. This allows owls to determine the source of the sound in several dimensions, which helps them to take the best position to attack.