Head control in the saw-whet owl

Why Evolution Is True

The first bird shown in the last post was a northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus), America’s second smallest owl—the elf owl, at 1.4 oz or 40 grams, is the smallest in the world—weighing in at a hefty 2.3–5.3 oz (65–151 g). Like many birds, owls have a remarkable ability to keep their heads absolutely steady as their bodies are rotated. This enables them to keep their gaze fixed while performing aerial maneuvers, such as catching mice.

A demonstration:

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