Q:

How do owls adapt to their environment?

A:

Quick Answer

Owls have many adaptations that allow them to survive in their chosen habitats. As nocturnal hunters, they are particularly well-adjusted to darkness and quiet environments so that they can find and capture prey. These adaptations are mainly physical, but there are also behavioral factors.

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Full Answer

One crucial adaptation of the owl that allows it to be a very successful hunter is its ability to fly silently. The shape of an owl's wing feathers is slightly fringed, which muffles the sound of air passing around the wings. This allows owls to sneak up quietly on their prey. Owls are also well-insulated by their feathers, allowing them to sit and wait for prey without moving for long periods of time.

The owl also is equipped with excellent hearing. This is crucial, because the owl is a nocturnal hunter. Being able to hear very well gives owls an advantage at night and in very dark conditions. Owls' eyesight is excellent as well, as they have a large number of special cells called rods that are extremely sensitive to low light. This helps them see their prey from a distance in minimal light conditions.

The owl's neck is extremely flexible; it has the ability to turn its neck nearly all the way around. This unique adaptation allows owls to locate sounds accurately from a great distance, which, added to its excellent eyesight and acute hearing, gives the owl the upper hand on even its sneakiest prey.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do owls fly?

    A:

    Like many other birds, owls achieve flight by flapping their wings. Owls, however, have a special adaptation that allows them to fly nearly silently and take prey by surprise on dark nights.

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  • Q:

    How long do owls live?

    A:

    The great horned owl is one of the most commonly seen owls; it lives an average of 13 years in the wild or 38 years in captivity. There are over 170 individual owl species, and each one has a separate lifespan.

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  • Q:

    Are owls carnivores or omnivores?

    A:

    Owls are carnivores; they are not omnivores. Owls mostly feed on small mammals such as rabbits and rodents as well as birds and insects. Some owl species focus on fish. The snowy owl loves lemmings and may consume more than 1,600 per year, or three to five daily.

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  • Q:

    What are some facts about owls?

    A:

    Owls are nocturnal birds that are found on every continent except for Antarctica. Unlike many animals, owls do not have eyeballs. Instead, they have eye tubes, which is why they must swivel their necks to look around.

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