Admired by their supposed wisdom as well as desire to eat rodents, but dismissed as pests and subject of mythology, Owls (families Tytonidaeand Strigidae) have enjoyed an affectionate connection with humankind since the start of recorded human history. There are more than 200 species of owls and some of them be a remnant of the time of dinosaurs.
There are around the 216 species of owls that are classified in two groups: Barn and Bay Owls( Tytonidae) and the Strigidae(true owls). The majority of owls belong to the class of what are known as true owls. They have big heads, round faces, with short tails, and feathers that are muted with a mottled pattern. The other species that are left are barn
owls that have heart-shaped faces, large legs with strong talons and a size that is moderate. With the exception of the barn owl that is common, that is widespread the most well-known species of owls found are found in North America and Eurasia are the real Owls.
The most amazing features
of owls they rotate their heads when they are looking at something, instead of looking at something, as do the majority of vertebrates. Owls require big forward-facing eyes to capture little light during their nocturnal hunts, and evolution
didn’t save the muscles to let these eyes move. Owls with extraordinary flexibility have necks, allowing them to rotate their heads for three quarters of an arc at 270 degrees in contrast the 90 degree range for an typical human.The tawny owl is one of more than 200 species of owls found around the globe. Nick Jewell/Flickr/CC by 2.0 Tropical Birds
Habitat and Distribution
Owls can be found on every continent , except Antarctica and are also found in many isolated islands, such as islands like the Hawaiian islands. Their preferred habitats differ between species, however they cover everything from Arctic tundra to marshlands, conifer and deciduous forests, deserts, agricultural fields and beaches.
Owls consume their prey–insects reptiles and mammals as well as other birds — without chewing or biting. Most of the unlucky animal’s food is digested, however parts that aren’t broken down like bones, fur, or feathers — are swallowed as a tough lump, referred to
as”pellet. “pellet,” a few hours after the dinner. Through the examination of these pellets, scientists can pinpoint the type of owl that was eating and at what time. (Baby Owls don’t make pellets because the parents provide them with soft reconstituted food from their nest.)
Just like animals who hunt and kill tiny prey, owls possess one most powerful talons of the avian kingdom. They are capable of grabbing and seizing rabbits, squirrels, as well as other mammals with squirmy talons. One of the biggest species of owls, the 5 pound great Horned owl is able to curl its talons using a force at 300 pounds/square inch.
That’s which is roughly equivalent to the most deadly humans bite. A few owls that are unusually large possess talons similar in size to those of eagles. This may be the reason why eagles that are hungry generally don’t bother their smaller counterparts.
In popular media, owls are often shown as highly smart, yet it’s nearly impossible to teach an owl however, parrots, hawks and pigeons are able to locate objects and remember basic tasks. People believe that Owls are smart because of the same reason that they believe
children who wear glasses are smarter than they are: Their larger eyes give the impression of superior intelligence. It doesn’t mean that owls’ eyes aren’t smart, however as they require plenty of brainpower to hunt in the dark.
Reproduction and offspring
Owl mating rituals include double hooting. Once the owls are married, one male and one female will remain together during this breeding time. Some species are paired for the entire year; some remain together for the rest of their lives.
They rarely construct their own nests, instead, they are able to take over nests that have been abandoned by other animals. Owls can be territorial especially during breeding season.
Mother owls will lay between one to 11 eggs over several days between six or five. Once eggs have been laid, the owl does stay in the nest till eggs hatch around 24-30 days later. And while males feed her, she will shed weight during that time. The chicks cut their way from the egg using an egg-tooth before leaving their nest (fledge) within 3-4 weeks.
There is no explanation for what the reason is, but on average female owls tend to be larger than males. One hypothesis is that males who are smaller are more agile, and thus better suited to catch prey, while females are more likely to brood young. Another reason is that females do not like leaving the eggs they lay.
They require an increased body mass to keep them alive for long periods of time without eating. Another theory isn’t as likely, but is more interesting: since female owls are known to fight and fend off incompatible males during mating season the smaller size and higher athleticism of males can keep their victims from suffering injuries.
It’s hard to pinpoint the evolutionary roots of owls and their connection to modern nightjars falcons and eagles. Owl-like birds like Berruornis and Ogygoptynx have been around for over sixty million years back, during the Paleocene time period It is likely that the ancestral ancestors of owls lived with dinosaurs at the close period of Cretaceous timeframe.
The strigid owls split away from tyronids, and first appeared during the Miocene period (23-5 million years long ago).Owls are among the oldest terrestrial birds that is only surpassed by games birds (e.g. turkeys, chickens and pheasants) belonging to this order Galliformes.
Most species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are classified as being of least concern, however certain species are listed as endangered or Critically endangered, for instance,
The Forest Owlet ( Heteroglaux Blovitti) found in India and The Boreal Owl ( Aegolius funereus) found in North America, Asia, and Europe and in Europe, Asia and North America. Siau Scops-Owl ( Otus siaoensis) located on one island in Indonesia. Owls face constant threats from hunter populations, climate change along with habitat degradation.
Humans and Owls
It’s not a good idea keeping owls for pets and that’s not just because it’s prohibited within the U.S. and most other nations. Owls consume only fresh food and require the constant supply of mice, gerbils rabbits, and other smaller mammals.
Their beaks as well as talons are extremely sharp and you’ll also require an assortment of bandages. If that weren’t enough the owl’s lifespan is over 30 years, meaning you’ll wear industrial-strength mittens and throwing gerbils into the cage for a long time.
Ancient civilizations had wildly differing opinions about Owls. The Greeks have chosen owls to symbolize Athena goddess of wisdom. The Romans were scared of them and believed they were as a sign of bad luck. It was believed by the Aztecs and the Mayans were averse to and shunned owls as symbol of destruction and death.
As well as several Indigenous groups terrorized their children with tales of Owls waiting in the dark to steal away. The ancient Egyptians were more accepting of owls. They believed that they were the guardians of the dead when they journeyed into the downworld.