Interesting Owl Facts: Night-Vision And A 270-Degree Head Swivel!

Owls are some of the most mysterious creatures on the planet and they have fascinated us for a long time. Now, let’s see what makes them so interesting.

Night Vision

Owls are nocturnal creatures, which means that they hunt for their prey at night. This is unlike bats, who use echolocation to move around at night. Owls use their superior vision abilities to see in the dark.

Owls have a large number of rods in their eyes, but very few cones, as compared to humans. Rod cells help owls to better receive light, which is why they are able to see better at night. Also, owls have incredibly large eyes; therefore, they are able to receive more light in their eyes.

Owl At Night

Credits:Kletr/Shutterstock

Cones are used for color detection and owls have very few cones as compared to humans; hence, owls are color blind.

Owls also have the ability to fly without making any noise, which helps them during hunting, as they are able to catch their prey off-guard.

Turning their head…way too much!

Owls are able to turn their head about 270 degrees, which helps them to see the entirety of their surroundings without moving their body.  Owls have fourteen neck vertebrae, as compared to only seven in humans, which makes their necks more flexible.  Owls also have special bone cavities and blood vessels that allow the blood to take different paths when they are turning their head. If humans were to turn their heads like this, it would result in cutting off the blood flow to the brain, but owls don’t have to worry about that!


This ability of owls to turn their heads is extremely important for them, because owls have fixed eye sockets. Therefore, they are not able to move their eyeballs. In order to see their complete surroundings, they have to turn their head. Perhaps you can see one of the great secrets of Mother Nature. If one door closes, then one door will always open somewhere else!

References:

  1. Wikipedia
  2. National Geographic
  3. Facts About Owls – Mental Floss
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Ashwin Vinod has a B.Tech in Electronics and Communications from APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Trivandrum (India). He likes to watch movies, reading fiction novels and surf the internet.

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