Science Photo of the Day

Pic85

What special feature do woodpeckers have in common with owls?

Both are zygodactyl, which means that instead of having three toes in front, and one in the back, like most birds, woodpeckers and owls (along with parrots and a few other birds) have two toes in the front and two in the back. For woodpeckers, this helps them hold tightly to the side of a tree, and for owls, it helps them hold tightly to their prey.

smithfamilyscie... wrote on Thu, 10/22/2009 - 16:04:

Dear Mr.Krampf
Your photo is really cool.
I found out that owls and woodpeckers both have nictitating membranes on their eyes. On a woodpecker it closes one millisecond before its beak makes contact with the wood to protect its eyes from flying wood chips and it moisturizes the eye. Owls nictitating membranes close right before catching their prey.

Isaac