Q:

What do owls symbolize?

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Quick Answer

Owls have been used in various artistic, mythological and literary traditions to symbolize concepts such as wisdom, magic, nighttime, protection and awareness. For example, the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, was often seen accompanied by owls.

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Full Answer

Different cultural traditions have used owls to symbolize different things. According to Kansas State University, the Native American Pawnee people saw owls as a symbol of protection, and other Native groups believed that owls were associated with the ability to see and hear through deception. The Athenian owl, the constant companion of the goddess Athena, has represented the concept of wisdom for centuries with contemporary educational institutions such as Rice University adopting the owl as both its mascot for sports and symbol for more formal associations.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do owls digest their food?

    A:

    Because owls eat their prey whole, they require a special digestive system consisting of a two-chambered stomach: the glandular stomach and gizzard. When an owl eats its prey, the prey first passes into the glandular stomach, where acids and enzymes begin to break down its fat, muscles and internal organs.

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  • Q:

    How much do owls weigh?

    A:

    Owl weight varies among species but most adult owls weigh between 1.5 ounces and 9 pounds. Elf owls, the smallest owls in the world, reach a very short height and weigh much less than the largest owl breed, the Eurasian eagle owl. In the United States, common Barn owls range in weight from just 8 ounces to over 3 pounds, while larger snowy owls maintain adult weights of 3.5 to 6.5 pounds.

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  • Q:

    What are some facts about owls?

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    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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  • 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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