A Moment of Science

Wise Owls

A wise old owl lived in an oak.The more he saw the less he spoke.The less he spoke the more he heard. Are owls really that wise? Find out on Moment of Science.

A wise old owl lived in an oak. The more he saw the less he spoke. The less he spoke the more he heard.

While there aren’t any obvious owl tendencies that suggest they’re wise, there is one type of owl that seems smarter than others. Burrowing owls use dung as a tool to lure dung beetle prey.

These owls surround their nests with mammal dung in order to lure dung beetles into their hungry mouths. Scientists tested whether the owls could be using the dung for other purposes, such as masking the scent of their nests, but the presence of dung offered no significant protection from predators.

What scientists could confirm is that if they took the dung away from an owl’s nest, it consumed about ten times fewer dung beetles.

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