Owl Be Seeing You

Owl Be Seeing You

It’s time for the #SuperbOwl and #ScienceSunday ! 

Did you know that the eyes of an owl are 5% of its body weight? Imagine Peyton Manning with eyes the size of a baseball.. errr…football. Their large pupils dilate at night, harvesting more light to be captured by an abundance of rods, specialized for night vision. Their eyes don’t have as many cone cells as we do, so their color vision is not that great. But they can see up to 100 times better than the Broncos at night! 

How does the owl rotate its head without wringing its neck? An owl has twice as many vertebrae compared to the 7 in humans, giving it a 270 degree flexibility, without tearing the delicate blood vessels in their necks and heads, and cutting off blood supply to their brains.. That’s because unlike human vertebrae, the vertebrae of the owl have large cavities, about ten times the diameter of the vertebral artery that goes through, allowing for plenty of slack. The artery also enters the cervical vertebrae at a higher point, for more freedom of movement. It is heavily networked so that blood supply to the brain and eyes is not interrupted by twisting of the neck even if one route is blocked. Astonishingly, the blood vessels at the neck became wider as they branched, in contrast to that of mere humans, where they get smaller and narrower. 

Read More: http://goo.gl/hFUq2 Research by Michael Habib  and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University on the mystery of the Owl’s neck. This award winning study was featured in Science magazine and may be the first use of angiography, CT scans and medical illustrations to unravel the mystery of the magnificent owl. 

For rare avis  who wanted to know about the #SuperbOwl 🙂

Image Source: Northern Hawk Owls  https://vimeo.com/17355313

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107 Responses to Owl Be Seeing You

  1. Mary T says:

    I love owls!  Sometimes, late at time out at the barn, I can hear the Great Horned Owls hoo-hoo-hoo-ing back and forth to each other.  It’s magical.  Once, I thought I saw one, a large, dark presence swooped down to the ground, grabbed something, and was gone. 

  2. Rajini Rao  An interesting and informative post as always. Owls are magical. Thank you so much 🙂

  3. Rajini Rao says:

    Thank you Mary T and Farinaz Parsay . It was a fun post to put together during the Superbowl 🙂 There is something so mysterious and beautiful about owls. 

  4. rare avis says:


    Thank you!

    Sorry, I switched to a side project for a bit…

    This is GREAT!


  5. Rajini Rao says:

    rare avis were you watching the other superbowl? 😀

  6. rare avis says:

    Rajini Rao

     lol. nope. Got roped into a volunteer gig for a few.


    Is that other thing over, the head banging one?

    Shoot! I was looking forward to watching how  it went down on the stream…


    {Welp; at least I got a bit of a good deed under my belt…}

    I SO want to learn about pop-culture. I think I have to be there when it happens. These things seem not to translate well into books….

    Thank you, Rajini… 🙂

    I hope you had fun, and that your team won.


  7. LOL! I love the punny-ness coupled with info.  Thank you Rajini Rao 

  8. U Das says:

    All my childhood I spent scared of the nocturnal fliers. West Bengal has superstitions against all brown owls. But the white ones are supposed to be faithful companions of the goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi. But I find owls extremely enigmatic independent of colour. The ones with the prominent eyebrows even more so.

  9. Great this is a god gift really great creativity of God thanks for information Rajini

  10. Nick James says:

    Was it in one of your posts Rajini Rao that said the owl had to have a very large degree of neck rotation because it could not move its eyes very much?  The down-side to having huge eyes for night vision.

  11. Rajini Rao says:

    Nick James I do recall that owl’s eyes are cylindrical, rather than spherical like ours, so they cannot rotate them as we can. But they have 3 eyelids, including one that goes side to side like a windshield wiper!  

  12. Rajini Rao says:

    Edited to include image source, thanks Nick James .

  13. U Das says:

    Rajini Rao​​​ a little googling suggested that thr “wiper-ish” eyelids are their nictitating membranes. If that’s correct, I guess it’s because owls have to keep their eyes open longer to help spot prey in the dark better. And that, especially with lower temperatures of the night, might mean higher drying up of the eyes. The nictitating membranes, being translucent, can help keep the eyes moist with lesser vision interruption. Did I guess right?

    Smita Pawar​​ashwini kulkarni​​Palak Agarwal​​Arindam Mukherjee​​Amit Kotwal​​ Dr. Debdipta Das​

  14. Rajini Rao says:

    Yes, exactly right. Thanks for the explanation of the nictitating membrane U Das !

  15. Nick James says:

    Rajini Rao You can also see that membrane crossing the eye on the film.  Remarkable.

  16. Astonishingly, the blood vessels at the neck became wider as they branched// av! the pressure drop will be great isn’t it?

  17. Dear friend happy Valentines day

  18. Naturally amazing! Rajni you fascinate me scientifically.

  19. Duh it is difficult to beleave!!

  20. Rajini Rao says:

    How l’owly to see you here, Rashid Moore .

  21. Wauuuu its beauty Rajini Rao,thank you its a great job.

  22. Dinesh TS says:

    Good one. Thanks Rajini

  23. Dana Crowe says:

    I think owl’s are awesome.

  24. Rajaniji you are great.

  25. Jkramesh Jkr says:

    Dana Crowe his. Jkrameshjkr. U.photo. com

  26. चिकना आऊल.

  27. Jkramesh Jkr says:

    rajendra sawant. Jk. U.I’m.ok

  28. Gautam Aich says:


  29. très intéressant merci

  30. And I tried so many frieking times😣

  31. Its very cute…..


  32. Ravi Kumar says:

    A jay

    Bahut acchi hai

  33. Agbor Fomuso says:

    Beutiful what nature

  34. So nice vere beautifully queen.

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