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Why Can't Owls Catch Fish?

  1. Feb 3, 2009 #1
    The night-flying bat has evolved a species which exploits this abundant, highly nutritious food source National Geographic Video (wait for the adverts to finish). So why haven't the birds moved into this ecological niche? Owls are excellent stealth hunters of mice, using there advanced hearing, so why not fish? There should be night-owls who have evolved to hunt fish throughout the night, surely? Why has this opportunity been missed? Is this an anomaly of evolution?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2009 #2


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  4. Feb 3, 2009 #3
    Thanks for that. I should have googled myself, of course. The yellow and orange pupils is interesting. Perhaps they are being mistaken for UFO encounters? Japan is a hot zone for 'things with wings'. I'm sure this must have happened a few times. Here's a great clip of one hunting: Video.

    So why haven't they evolved into a super-large, sea-fishing sub-species? Maybe sometime in the future.

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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  5. Feb 3, 2009 #4


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    I'm confused. There are lots of fish-hunting birds. The niche is filled.

    Owls are generally inland creatures (as opposed to marine coastal).

    Or are you specifally pointing out night hunting?
  6. Feb 3, 2009 #5
    Yes, specifically night hunting. Why isn't there a nocturnal seafish-eating bird? Owls may be generally inland creatures, but this wouldn't have limited there range to beyond the coastline. Birds are so resourceful and adaptable e.g the snowy owl and penguins. It just doesn't add up.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
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