Video

Video of the day: owl rotation

More from the Making Science Fun brigade. Sit back and enjoy the sight of one superbly unperturbed owl being rocked along all axes (that is NOT an euphemism) by a man in a lab coat.

Even with its eyes covered, the head stays rock steady. If only everyone were capable of such strigine stability. Many thanks to that fearless adventurer Professor Elemental for Tweeting this one. I shall now treat myself to a nice cup of tea to celebrate the find, plus the fact that I have refrained from making a very obvious pun about the bird’s placidity in relation to its species.

For those interested in owl-based science, the original video is here and provides the following information:

Owls can exhibit a remarkable head stability during angular movement of the body about any axis passing through the skull.
K.E. Money 1962. See THE VESTIBULAR SYSTEM OF THE OWL
Author(s): Money, K.E.; Correia, M.J.
Abstract: Owls have a curious variability in the postrotatory head nystagmus following abrupt angular deceleration. Owls can exhibit a remarkable head stability during angular movement of the body about any axis passing through the skull. The vestibular apparatus in the owl is bigger than in man, and a prominent crista neglecta is present. The tectorial membrane, the cupula, and the otolithic membranes of the utricle, saccule and lagena are all “attached” to surfaces in addition to the surfaces bearing hair cells; these attachments are very substantial in the utricular otolithic membrane and in the cupula.

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One response to “Video of the day: owl rotation

  1. Pingback: Video of the day: Happy Owl is Happy » Disjointed Ramblings

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