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November 2, 2011 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Brown Owls Display Remarkable Head Stability (via)
posted by The Whelk (46 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
She holds her head very still as she dreams of beautiful murder.
posted by pts at 10:27 AM on November 2, 2011 [11 favorites]


I have to agree with the YT commenter about the guy's facial expressions.

Related: What must they have dangled just off-camera to keep the owl's attention so rapt?
posted by mykescipark at 10:28 AM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chickens can do this too.
posted by Toekneesan at 10:29 AM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that guy is chewing gum. But that doesn't explain his eyebrows. It's like he's controlling the owl WITH HIS MIND.
posted by DU at 10:31 AM on November 2, 2011


remember: have your owls rotated every 12,000 miles.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:32 AM on November 2, 2011 [25 favorites]


I can't get past the owl burrito/straightjacket thing. And the blindfold. It's like a bizarre hostage situation.
posted by orrnyereg at 10:33 AM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


this is like a horror movie
posted by The Owls at 10:34 AM on November 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


why
posted by Gator at 10:37 AM on November 2, 2011


I can't get past the owl burrito/straightjacket thing. And the blindfold.

Oh really?

It's like a bizarre hostage situation.

Yeah, really.
posted by George Clooney at 10:37 AM on November 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


OWL BURRITO is my new protopunk band.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:39 AM on November 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


why

You do it for science.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:45 AM on November 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


STAY ON TARGET!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:46 AM on November 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


That owl is going to peck that guy's face off when he gets out of that straightjacket.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:46 AM on November 2, 2011


Seriously. HOO does that guy think he is?
posted by brundlefly at 10:51 AM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Haha, was going to post a different chicken video. This is one of those things that is far more interesting than it feels like it should be.
posted by xedrik at 10:54 AM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Owls: The anti-bobblehead technology
posted by yeloson at 10:55 AM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


O RLY?
posted by orrnyereg at 10:58 AM on November 2, 2011


When an owl decides that something should be looked at, by golly it stays looked at.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:03 AM on November 2, 2011 [22 favorites]



>You do it for science.

"..but I pay all my bills FOR COLLEGE,
by using my OWL ROTATION KNOWLEDGE."

That's just awesome.

posted by cromagnon at 11:03 AM on November 2, 2011


He's wrapped a raptor!
posted by Abiezer at 11:08 AM on November 2, 2011


Next up: owl revolution.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:12 AM on November 2, 2011


It's Owl-Stretching Time!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:13 AM on November 2, 2011


My only regret in life is not being owl.

There's a "cute" video here of an owl playing with invisible prey. Watch it until 12 seconds in. Let me make a bet: at that precise moment in the video you felt that the owl sees the evil that lurks in the darkest depths of your very spirit, the depths and the evil even you yourself are unaware of. In that one single glance, he knows more about you than you yourself do, and when you realize that, that is when the horror and the nightmares come.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 11:13 AM on November 2, 2011 [15 favorites]


Well I guess we finally know who the until-now-top-secret crew member wired into this puppy is!
posted by Mike D at 11:22 AM on November 2, 2011


You see this shit, I can do it all day. All day. Round and round and up and down and sideways and every damn thing. Oh you are going to blind fold me now... still doing it. See. See. And tonight I'm going to rip your face off and you won't hear me coming. Twit fucking woo.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:23 AM on November 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'd always thought that an owl's ability to keep the eyes oriented relative to the ground, not the body, was because they used parallax displacement to guide their strike as they glide in (you can see it as the body swings out to the observer's right at the end of this famous eagle owl strike video).

But
this paper seems to suggest it's not that simple.
posted by cromagnon at 11:24 AM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chicken Steadi-Cam
posted by odinsdream at 11:28 AM on November 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is this why the chickens only run around after you've cut their heads off?
posted by Aizkolari at 11:34 AM on November 2, 2011


I have a feeling the guy in the video was making noises (to calm the animal?) during the experiment, hence the "coke-jaw" effect.
posted by ReeMonster at 11:57 AM on November 2, 2011


I believe he was whispering, "Please don't bite me, Please don't bite me, please don't bite me, please don't bite me..."
posted by Splunge at 12:02 PM on November 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nope, I doubt anything special was happening off-screen. The owl always does the same thing, even after suddenly shifting his focus to the left, behind, back to the front...

It's just the nature of owls. They are raptors that specialize in hunting mice hidden by blankets of snow, shrews in high grass under cover of darkness that even taxes their vaunted vision, and so on. Their one great ability is f o c u s .

They fixate on something, lock their hearing on it, and investigate it fully by both sight & sound (but primarily probably sound). They alone of any animal I'm aware of can continually echo-locate in the vertical plane, because their ears are at different heights when their head is upright. But all of this requires concentration. It's not a one-ping radar system.

They do this head stabilization when flying, as well. It enables them to make precision strikes on prey they can't see, which can move significantly (and unpredictably) during their attack swoop.

Owls are cool.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:00 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a feeling the guy in the video was making noises (to calm the animal?) during the experiment, hence the "coke-jaw" effect.

I doubt it, ReeMonster. I have a couple falconer friends. The birds are naturally pretty calm when restrained. Very Sufi: "Can't do anything. Might as well relax." (Or Obi-Wan-Kenobi-ish.)
posted by IAmBroom at 1:01 PM on November 2, 2011


BTW, flying birds are incredibly light (and, of course, owl feathers are extra fluffy, to help silence their flight). I bet that bird weighs about a pound; certainly far less than an apparently equal-sized modern chicken, bred for meaty flightlessness.

And yet it could tear a 1" chunk out of you, effortlessly.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:06 PM on November 2, 2011


Is this how the Segway works?
posted by dontoine at 1:21 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


owl burrito/straightjacket

owl in a can
posted by heatvision at 2:26 PM on November 2, 2011


I do something quite similar to my wife all the time. She also manages to maintain a steady look of disapproval.
posted by srboisvert at 2:26 PM on November 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is this how the Segway works?

"The thing's hollow... it goes on forever... and—oh my God—it's full of owls!"
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:50 PM on November 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nice start. But can they figure skate?
posted by rongorongo at 2:55 PM on November 2, 2011


That was singularly surreal.
posted by Acey at 2:55 PM on November 2, 2011


You may have seen this high-speed footage of an eagle owl coming in for a landing. Watch how steady his head is. Uncanny.
posted by Jode at 3:35 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Poor owl.

SCIENCED ALL HIS LIFE!
posted by pajamazon at 3:52 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Brown Owls Display Remarkable Head Stability

How, now?
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:34 PM on November 2, 2011


This is what happens when you rotate your owl for science.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:41 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


kinnakeet: I can't watch that right now but I am hoping and praying it is the BEST DUBBED CENSORING EVER of that famous scene in Big Lebowski.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:59 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


where's - your - head at!
posted by dracomarca at 6:39 AM on November 3, 2011


owl in a can

owl in a banana
posted by mjg123 at 3:38 PM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


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