Sunday, October 23, 2011

Consider The Owl...!

You know, many animals we have around today would put most super heroes to shame!

Some of them have some pretty amazing powers (or abilities, if you will) that almost stagger the imagination! Just to show exactly what I'm talking about, let's consider the owl!

The Owl Is Daredevil and Wolverine Combined

Quick: What's special about owls? They can turn their heads all the way around? They can swallow mice whole?

This is a great example right here, because apparently owls can't do sh**, if comic books are our guide. While there are several owl-themed superheroes and villains in existence, they tend to be thinly veiled Batman knockoffs with no powers to speak of. Even the superpowered ones usually possess some rather sad and useless power, such as Owlman's ability to "cause confusion."

Well, all we can say to that is comic book writers need to open a damned encyclopedia every now and then. We mean, look at the creature we're dealing with here. Besides having the best night vision of all birds, owls also have a satellite dish built into their face. The circular pattern of feathers on there? Yeah, that acts as a dish, focusing the sound and giving them what may be the best directional hearing in the world. And even weirder, those feather patterns can also, no kidding, be individually adjusted to increase reception.

How well does this work? Let's put it this way: An owl can hear a mouse stepping on a twig from 75 feet away. Owls also have an incredible sense of sound elevation, meaning they can detect the height from which sound is emanating, because one ear hole is placed higher than the other. All of this is to pinpoint the exact location of the owl's prey, which in fact works so well that the bird can make in-flight course corrections to strike at its victim.

And keep in mind, we're talking about a nocturnal hunter -- they're using this finely tuned sense of hearing to take down prey that the owl can't even see. So, basically we're looking at a flying Daredevil but with a slew of built-in razor blades on its hands a la Wolverine.

To demonstrate how these powers would be handy fighting crime, we'd like to show you the following video. imagine that the lemming is crime:

To make matters even worse for the criminal element, owls also happen to have special serrated feathers that allow them to fly silently like a stealth fighter. Furthermore, they have the lowest wing-loading ratio of any bird, meaning they can fly extremely slow if they need to, or carry large loads. The owl superhero wouldn't need to zoom in like Superman or swing around like Spider-Man -- he'd just slowly, silently glide over the area, hearing everything and casting an ominous shadow in the night sky. Hell, he'd be his own Bat Signal, if the Bat Signal could swoop in at evildoers and carry them away.
Oh, and if you're now inspired to become an owl-themed superhero based on all this, there is one genus of owl that has already come up with a kick-ass name for you: Strix.

Read more: 5 Birds With Abilities That Put Superheroes to Shame |

Now, I don't know about you...but I'm impressed! I never knew any of this information about the owl! All I can say is "Super heroes, watch out!"

Let's grab some fresh coffee and sit outside this morning! Gonna be Summer again until the middle of the week!


HoboJoe said...

It's certainly easy to see why owls are revered (or feared) by many cultures. I'd say they deserve that reputation of being wise. Kinda' like that wise old owl that finds all this information for us to enjoy everyday.

HermitJim said...

Hey HoboJoe...
I've been called a birdbrain before, but never an owl!

Actually, I can think of many worse things to be compared to. These guys are some bad boys, as far as predators are concerned!

Hey, I really appreciate you coming by today!

Ben in Texas said...

Always been fascinated by owls and their hunting ability. But thinking on it I like all the predator birds. Good lesson today Professor. :-)

Sixbears said...

I've a couple of bard owls that live near me. They are murder on small critters -keeps them in check.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
I'm sure impressed with the hunting abilities of the owl! Bet if a person wanted to, they could spend a lifetime studying all the predator birds and would find out something new every day!

I really appreciate you coming by this morning!

Hey Sixbears...
It seems to me that having a couple around would be an effective form of critter control!

Sure is easy to see why they were considered as "wise" by our ancestors!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

JoJo said...

WOW! what a great post. Owls are really neat to watch. When I was working we had a huge Horned Owl that perched in the tree outside my office window. He was there year after year.
And this made me want to go to the Desert Museum but its still to hot.
Oh well maybe in another 2 weeks.

Yes this weather is driving me nuts too. Lets grab that coffee while we can sit out.

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
Summer sure doesn't seem to want to leave, does it?

It's a shame you can't get to the museum and snap a few pictures for us!

Crazy weather, that's for sure!

TROUBLEnTX said...

My boys talked me into letting them bring home a "baby" owl. Well, it was a baby, but,, was a great horned owl. I went to the library and got a book, found out they were meat eaters, so my son had to hunt every day to feed it. Most fasinating creature i ever raised.

Bob Mc said...

I once heard owls described as "flying tigers". Formidable hunters for sure.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I have Bard Owls living on my property. I just love to listen to them call. The have quite a wide range of sounds.