News Stories

Owls Swivel and Sneak Around

When you twist your head around to check for a driver in your "blind spot" before changing lanes, don't you wish you could swivel your head around like an owl? Owls can rotate their heads by as much as 270 degrees in either direction without damaging the delicate blood vessels in their necks and heads, and without cutting off the blood supply to their brains.

Owls also have the uncanny ability to fly silently, relying on specialized plumage to reduce noise so they can hunt in acoustic stealth (many "contactees" have mistaken Grays for owls).

Researchers have found four major biological adaptations that are designed to prevent injury from rotational head movements. Neuroradiologist Philippe Gailloud says, "The carotid and vertebral arteries in the neck of most animals--including owls and humans--are very fragile and highly susceptible to even minor tears of the vessel lining. Until now, brain imaging specialists like me who deal with human injuries caused by trauma to arteries in the head and neck have always been puzzled as to why rapid, twisting head movements did not leave thousands of owls lying dead on the forest floor from stroke."

Researchers injected dye into the owls' arteries, mimicking blood flow, and manually turned the animals' heads. Blood vessels at the base of the head, just under the jaw bone, kept getting larger and larger, as more of the dye entered, and before the fluid pooled in reservoirs. This contrasts starkly with human anatomical ability, where arteries generally tend to get smaller and smaller, and do not balloon as they branch out.

When it comes flying, all wings, either natural or engineered, create turbulent eddies as they cut through the air. When these eddies hit the trailing edge of the wing, they are amplified and scattered as sound. Conventional aircraft, which have hard trailing edges, are particularly noisy in this regard.

Researcher Justin Jaworski says, "Many owl species have developed specialized plumage to effectively eliminate the aerodynamic noise from their wings, which allows them to hunt and capture their prey using their ears alone."

Owls may be silent, but this website is NOISY (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show)! We've been in business for quite a few years now, and during that time we've posted many wonderful Dreamland shows. Did you know that subscribers can listen to show that have been posted as early as January 1st, 2004? We have a wonderful archive of Dreamlands for you, as well as Anne Strieber's special "contactee" interviews, just for our subscribers.

Spread YOUR wings and fly to Nashville in May for Come to our extraordinary Revelations Nashville Symposium, May 17-19--a weekend with three of the most extraordinary thinkers in the world. To get your tickets, click here. The price includes breakfast Saturday and Sunday and lunch on Saturday.



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