What Are Some Cool Facts About Owls?

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Cool facts about owls include that they are one of the most diverse species because they live in all types of habitats and are native to every continent except Antarctica. There are as many as 220 different species of owls, and they have existed for at least 58 million years.

Owls have superb hearing skills to help them locate tiny prey in tall grass or other camouflage. Many species have asymmetrical ears, with one ear located higher on the bird's head than the other. This helps them pinpoint sounds. Their mostly flat faces also help, because they feature a slight curve that helps funnel sounds to the ears. They also have specialized feathers that allow them to fly silently and ambush their prey.

Unlike many bird species, female owls are often larger and more colorful than the males. Owls can also be quite expressive. In addition to their characteristic hoots, owls can hiss, whistle, growl, rattle and screech. Some species have tufts of feathers on their heads, commonly called ear tufts. However, these tufts are not part of the owl's ears and instead may be used to signal mood or help the bird blend into its surroundings.

Owls have excellent eyesight, but they do not have round eyeballs like many animals. Instead, their eyes are long tubes supported by bony sockets. They cannot move their eyes from side to side, but they can rotate their heads up to 270 degrees to give them an excellent range of vision.