Spectacled Owl

Spectacled Owl

If you could have one super sense, what would it be?

Maybe you’d want super hearing so that you could hear what people are saying from the next room!  Maybe super taste so that you really, really, really enjoy those s’mores! Super touch, perhaps? I don’t know what this would be like… Maybe you would really, really enjoy petting a kitten!

Or… super sight! Which brings us to the owl. Most owls, like the Spectacled Owl, have retinas that are densely packed with rod cells. Rod cells help you see in low light. If you watch a movie in school and the teacher turns off the lights, your eye rods are like, “HEY! THIS IS MY TIME!!!” and in about 7 minutes they start activating. They take over the work of the cones: the other type of cell in the eye, the one that perceives color. But when your teacher switches the lights back on, your rods are still saturated and everything is bright, so it takes a few minutes for the cone cells to function again and for the rods to take a back seat until darkness returns.

Spectacled owls look like they wear “spectacles” or “glasses” with those white feathers ringing their eyes, but they certainly don’t need them–because they can see like a boss.

 

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