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Often symbolizing wisdom, intelligence and also mystery, owls space stoic creatures that the night. Castle soar v the sky, swiftly catch prey, and also perch high in the trees. Owls can also rotate their heads nearly 270 degrees! Why? Today, us answer that question with help from national Geographic and also ScienceDaily.

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Keep her head still and look forward. As a human, you are able to check out what is straight in former of you and some that what is come the left and also to the right of you. This is referred to as your peripheral vision. Without moving your head, your eyes can follow objects up, down and also side-to-side.

Owls can’t perform this. Due to the fact that they have actually fixed eye sockets, they must relocate their heads in order to watch their surroundings. A wide selection of motion is vital for survival together it help them stop predators and detect prey.

But, how do they do it?

In 2013, researchers from Johns Hopkins unveiled this mystery. They wanted to know why sudden activities to a human’s head and also neck deserve to be life threatening however not because that an owl. They discovered four biological differences in between a human’s and an owl’s anatomy that provide the bird uninterrupted blood flow and greater arterial flexibility.

“The first anatomical sports they discovered was in the owl neck, where among the major arteries feeding the brain passes with bony feet in the vertebrae,” according to ScienceDaily. “The hollow cavities were around 10 times bigger in diameter 보다 the vertebral artery traveling with it. The researchers say the extra an are … creates a set of cushioning waiting pockets that allow the artery to move roughly when twisted.”

The researchers likewise noticed the the vertebral artery enters the neck in ~ the owl"s 12th cervical vertebrae, rather than the 14th like various other birds. This allows for even for more vessel room and slack.

Unlike a human whose arteries tend to acquire smaller and smaller together they branch out, the owl’s blood vessels at the base of the head get larger and also larger so the blood reservoirs form. This enables the owl to “meet the power needs of their big brains and also eyes, when they rotate their heads.”

And even if one blood vessel is blocked throughout rotation, blood is quiet able to circulation to the brain due to the connection in between the carotid and vertebral arteries.

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So also though owls perform not have actually peripheral vision, castle able to safely scan an area by rotating your head and also not interrupt blood flow to your brain—an essential feature for the prize of wisdom.

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