You Can See An Owl’s Eyeball Through Their Ears

Samuel Reason | February 11th, 2018

Ever wanted to see the inside of an owl’s eyeball? No, not really? Well if you did all you would have to do is have a quick peek inside their ears! You can just literally look into the inside of an owl’s head through their ears.

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Owls, like all birds, do not have an external ear structure that we find in mammals. Basically when you think about bird’s ears just think of them as some big gaping hole in their skulls. Sure the hole is covered with many feathers but if you were to push the feathers apart then you would have a bird’s eye view(pun intended!) into their mind!

Of course most birds are too small to even have a look, however, the northern saw-whet owl has an exceptionally large ear opening. This large ear hole lets us have a rare look into a live animals skull and see exactly what is going on. As per the photo above, we can see a bluish white shape visible by looking into the ear: this is the owl’s eyes!

It is pretty amazing as it lets naturalists and scientists get a glimpse of how owls have evolved to become the apex of night time stealth predators. The funny thing about the northern saw-whet owl is they are actually very small, meaning their eyes are about 5 percent of their overall body mass. They only grow up to about 7 inches and can weigh as little as 2 ounces!

The reason that owls ears are so big is, of course, to help them find their prey during the night. It allows them to track down prey in the dark. Every sound reaches their ear at a slightly different time, giving them the ability to triangulate where the sound is coming from. This means owls seem to always know where you are, no matter if they can not see you.

Owls have fascinated humans for centuries and when you look into all the cool traits they possess, not to mention you can literally look into their head: well it is easy to see why.

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