The mimic octopus and chameleons aren't the only animals who can camouflage themselves from predators, and these owls prove it. Yes, these birds "have mastered the art of disguise of three different types: they either use color, marking or posture camouflage." Continue reading to see more, bonus videos and fun facts included.
- Owls belong to a group of birds that includes about 205 species. These species are sorted into two basic groups, the barn owls and the true owls. Barn owls have a heart-shaped face, long legs and powerful talons. True owls are more diverse than barn owls, with nearly 190 species in about 23 genera.
- Their main food source consists of small mammals such as mice, squirrels, voles and rabbits. They also supplement their diet by feeding on birds, insects and reptiles. Owls cannot chew their prey since, like all birds, they do not have teeth. Instead, they swallow small prey whole.
- Most owls hunt at night and in doing so avoid competition with daytime avian hunters such as hawks and eagles. Although nocturnal feeding is the norm for most owls, some species such as burrowing owls and short-eared owls feed during the day. Still other species, such as pygmy owls, feed at dusk or dawn.
- Owls are unable to move their eyes within their sockets to a great extent, which means they must turn their entire head to see in a different direction. Because owls have forward-facing eyes, they have well-developed binocular vision.
- Owls have developed special feather adaptations that enable them to minimize the sound made when flapping their wings. For instance, the leading edges of their primary feathers have a stiff fringes that reduces noise while the trailing edge of their primaries have soft fringes that helps to reduce turbulence. Downy feathers cover the surfaces of the wing to further reduce sound.
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