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Photo: Sideways glance, owl-style

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Our photo of the day offers a quick lesson in the wonders of an owl.

Upon first glance this short-eared owl photographed by Tony LePrieur looks pretty normal ... until you notice that those eyes are stacked up rather than side-by-side, giving this bird of prey a bit of Picassoesque flair.

Aside from looking delightfully inquisitive and just very cute, the turning about of an owl's head is really quite a wonder. Given the range of movement – they regularly swivel their heads around 270 degrees – it would seem as if the head is barely attached. They can do this thanks to their unique neck anatomy that works to support their vision. Their large eyes are built a bit like telescopes, which means they are excellent for spotting prey, but they can't move around very much. What to do? Have a super flexible neck and head that can do the moving for them.

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